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Square Pegs: Inclusivity, compassion and fitting in – a guide for schools

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Square Peg is entertaining as well as informative. I appreciate the "Big Ideas" and "Action Items" at the end of each chapter. It is a nice way to summarize what points Rose believes are the most important from all the information and personal anecdotes he provides. Square Peg includes an epilogue with Rose's current research findings, chapter notes, and a bibliography. The story of the Square Peg is a book every parent who has a troubled child should read. There are so many parents out there who have forgotten what it means to be a kid, especially being a kid in today's times. I'm not sure when it happens, but it seems that as soon as adults turn into parents, they lose all sense of reality and common sense. They like to believe that what they are doing is best for their kids, when sometimes it is not. This book explains the trouble the author had growing up because of all the trouble he got himself into. His impulsivity always made him look like a kid with no future and no chance of doing anything good with his life. Boy, did he prove them wrong. Bringing different perspectives and expertise together in one place, Square Pegs aims to help school leaders and staff support children (and their families) more effectively. The authors cover a wide variety of topics – including school attendance, building relationships, trauma-informed practice, and behaviour management. Featuring contributions from more than 50 individual authors, this is an accessible, dip-in, dip-out book – perfect for busy school leaders. Square Pegs - Inclusivity, Compassion, and Fitting In," is a highly anticipated book that has resonated with potential readers in a big way. This comprehensive guide features 38 different chapters and 53 contributors, offering a diverse array of perspectives and experiences. assisted with a BBC news story and secured national coverage ( BBC Breakfast, regional TV, local radio) in September 2019

secured a project on persistent absence and its correlation with SEND as one of the Children's Commissioner’s 10 strategic priorities for 2020/21 In recent years, many schools in England have started to implement strict policies around behaviour, curriculum and attendance. As the screws tighten, more and more square pegs (read ‘deeply distressed young people’) have started voting with their feet. When you stop going to school, it creates all kinds of problems: home visits, financial penalties and, incredibly, the threat of custodial sentences for the parents and carers of persistent ‘offenders'. The fact that so many young people should choose such strife over attending school should tell us something very important about their lived experience of our one-size-fits-all education system. It seems likely that increasing numbers of square pegs will continue voting with their feet until we reach crisis point. But this crisis can be averted if we listen to the voices of those affected now. This brilliantly curated book is an absolute must-read for anyone interested in creating a more diverse, empathic, responsive educational ecosystem that works for all young people. This book should be an essential piece of reading for everyone who works with, or is interested in the lives of children who struggle to be included or are often overlooked. In the midst of a lot of noise and anger about a failing system, it focuses our attention on the humanity of children, their individual needs and how to support them to succeed. The short chapters mean it is a book that can be dipped in and out of regularly, looking at excellent legal and practical advice as well as inspirational stories of success. We should all be grateful to Square Peg for all they do to advocate for children who need most help, and for showing how schools and parents can work together with children to provide a positive environment to learn. Every child deserves the best start in life, and positive outcomes for all children must be at the heart of a successful education system. The other issue he mention in the book was using medication. His mom was concerned about it and he provided his thoughts on it as well. Of course, medication should never be used on a child, just because the parents don't have the patience for handling their child's unlimited flow of energy, doesn't make it ok to sedate them just because. There are plenty of books on how to cope with children who are hyperactive. I choose not to say ADHD because it is a label that is often abused and used on a child who shows the slightest sign of being hyper. Can you imagine if some of the greatest minds of our history were medicated as children, where we would be today? Exactly.....think about that for a minute.I LOVE the way the book is set up. Each chapter begins with a relevant quote and the chapters are easy to read, entertaining, informative and positive. At the end of every chapter are listed the Big Ideas as well as Action Items.

As a teacher, I can get defensive when faced with a critique of the profession and this book certainly doesn’t shy away from that. However, I made a conscious decision to leave my teacher hat at the door and to give the book a fair shot. Fran Morgan founded Square Peg in 2019, following her own daughter’s struggles in the education system. She was joined by Ellie Costello in 2020, with experience as a parent of children with underlying needs. She now runs the organisation, as well as working with local authorities and health teams. Ian Gilbert has been an advocate of change in the education system for many years, alongside his Independent Thinking associates. attended the inaugural conference of INSA (the International Network for School Attendance) in Oslo in October 2019, and now sit on two INSA committees

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Square Peg is, in part, a memoir about L. Todd Rose's experience growing up a misunderstood, wild and out of control kid with ADHD. He is every teachers nightmare, throwing stink bombs in school. He ends up making a lot of mistakes including, failing high school and is three steps short of being a juvenile delinquent. He had a couple of things going for him though, a mother who loved and accepted him and the will to succeed. He uses this will to succeed to reinvent himself. Square Peg is the story of how he went from being a failure at the very bottom of the educational system to a Harvard graduate student. Budget cuts, the loss of support staff, an overly academic curriculum, problems in the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) system and difficulties accessing mental health support have all compounded pre-existing problems with behaviour and attendance. The ‘attendance = attainment’ and zero-tolerance narrative is often at odds with the way schools want to work with their communities, and many school leaders don't know which approach to take. Over the last few years, changes in education have made it increasingly hard for those children who don’t ‘fit’ the system – the square pegs in a rigid system of round holes. This book should be required reading for all SENCOs and headteachers in the UK, and even beyond. This book explains why the current school system fails certain children specifically and all children in a broader context. The conventions prevailing today in most schools throughout the world, in which rote memorization is still, anachronistically, prized originated in early-nineteenth-century Prussia, where the compulsory school system was designed to churn out loyal and obedient soldiers and factory workers. The model was never meant to nurture individual potential or creativity, but rather to instill uniformity and compliance." (p. 16)

Square Peg - My Story and What It Means for Raising Innovators, Visionaries and Out-of-the-Box Thinkers, by L. Todd Rose is a great book with great ideas for our modern classrooms. Todd Rose was himself a 2E child. And the system failed him. He tells the story of how he was given a poetry assignment, and because he actually enjoyed writing poetry, he did it. His teacher failed him, thinking he had cheated, since Todd didn't try on any assignments, as a general rule. Even when Todd's mother plead his case to the teacher, the teacher held firm to the failed grade. Furthermore, the book challenges readers to think deeply about the ever-shrinking school budgets, which are responsible for the limited resources and support available to educators. While the book does not offer solutions to this issue, it highlights the need for a deeper exploration of this problem and how it affects our education system. Although the author says that there is not one factor in his growth beyond being a challenging child with misbehaviors, the one thing that comes through over and over again is that his mother stood in the gap for her child and believed in him. The other beliefs about himself he discovered on his own. The book challenges readers to think deeply about the experiences of children who are labeled as "square pegs" in their education. It highlights the need for a supportive and inclusive environment in schools, where every student is given the opportunity to reach their full potential. The contributors to the book show us that by providing such an environment, square pegs are given the chance to thrive and be proud of who they are. This not only benefits the individual pupil but also enriches the entire school community, creating a diverse and accepting atmosphere where everyone is valued for their unique contributions.Autism is a spectrum condition and affects people in different ways. Like all people, autistic people have their own strengths and weaknesses. Social interaction and communication can be difficult for some autistic people but others may enjoy it. Intense interests and repetitive behaviour are often seen along with differing sensory experiences'. This book offers a wealth of practical examples of how collaboration between schools and families, alongside the will to make a culture shift, can lead to successful inclusion practices. It is very readable and contains practical advice and solutions, framed within the current educational context, that leaders, teachers and support staff can use to create the right systems and support to ensure that every child and young person really is more than just ‘fine in school’. One of the ways to reach struggling students is to use digital technology in the classroom. Currently I am teaching with digital media (Ipads in the classroom) and am rethinking and relearning a new way to teach my curriculum. I am trying to create a paperless classroom (the wave of the future) as well as being creative with lessons on the Ipads. I love it and I believe my students do too. I plan to teach the staff in my building some of the techniques I am trying digitally in my classroom. I love to be an innovator! Did I mention I have ADD?

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