Towards more inclusive learning spaces
A primary school teacher has been using Story Box Library with students who have additional learning needs. We loved hearing how her students were able to use different methods of communication for learning.
Education departments across the country have responded to guidelines set out by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Disability Standards for Education 2005 and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to make their classrooms and learning spaces accessible to everyone. Educators have begun to implement inclusive education policies and initiatives that move away from previous education models of segregation and move towards those that support students with disabilities and additional learning needs.
Sue Burnett has been using Story Box Library for students in her support classes for more than three years, using our stories as an alternate and dynamic way to engage kids with literature. She’s been able to use a range of texts with kids who communicate through a variety of verbal and non-verbal communication systems, mirroring the framework outlined by the UDL.
When we spoke to Sue about her ways of engaging kids in her classroom she said that ‘with support, all [students] are able to access Story Box Library at their own level with texts ranging from ESL1 to Stage 3 Levels’.
‘With support, all [students] are able to access Story Box Library at their own level with texts ranging from ESL1 to Stage 3 Levels.’
It’s what we love to hear. Teachers who build their teaching capabilities and techniques to provide a more inclusive education act as a constant inspiration for us and we’re always looking for ways to make our resource more helpful to them and for kids across the world.
We’ve developed key features that tap into the guidelines of the UDL Framework: engagement (our multi-modal format, playlist function, classroom ideas and diverse range of stories), representation (our alternative format and our search filter for subject or theme-based content) and learning support (our audio support, closed captions, textual devices to support acquisition of language, and social stories to help children learn about social and communication skills).
Our stories, additional content and resources can be used with children of varying ages and abilities, and provide teachers with a universal tool that, when used in conjunction with other learning tools and evidence-based teaching strategies, can support students with additional needs.
There are the stories we love to use to help kids uncover the complexities of language, such as Kick With My Left Foot and Mopoke; those that can help children learn about daily life and routine, including The Ricker Racker Club and The Pros and Cons of Being a Frog; and those that demonstrate the diversity of our country, like The Hush Treasure Book and Alfred’s War.
Whether it’s by using Story Box Library with the whole class, as Sue does with her daily Crunch and Sip Time, or by compiling playlists, we hope that our content and features allows teachers and kids to engage in inclusive and supportive learning environments.
We are working towards even greater accessibility with our resource and value any constructive feedback or suggestions. If you’d like to get in touch with our team, you can head over to our Contact Us page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.