Istituto Comprensivo „Fossacesia“
IC Fossacesia currently has a remarkable school population of more than 900 students, with a significant presence of foreign pupils. This area had a significant increase in population and a substantial immigration too; our school has tackled these phenomena, creating a good relationship with new Italian and foreign families and providing a remarkable learning environment for all new students.
IC Fossacesia is actually including: – children schools (13 classes) in 5 different locations – 300 pupils – primary schools (21 classes) in 3 different locations – 360 students – lower secondary school (12 classes) in 2 different locations – 880 students.
The Municipalities of Fossacesia, Mozzagrogna and Santa Maria Imbaro, which give life to our Comprehensive Institute, have a global population of about 11,000 inhabitants; in recent years they have experienced a significant growth rate thanks to their proximity to a wide industrial zone and other favorable employment opportunities.
There is also currently a significant presence of immigrants, which tends to increase. The population is mainly settled in countryside, according to a well-established tradition.
Our communes have heritage of utmost interest, such as the Benedictine Abbey of St. John in Venus, the 11th Century Sanctuary in Santa Maria Imbaro, the wood of Mozzagrogna.
The dictionary defines inclusion as “the action or state of including or of being included within a group or a structure”. In a school or education setting, this means that every child and every adult who learns and works in a school is valued and whose educational and personal needs are met. Inclusion is also about parents and the community in which the school exists. It is not about integration, which has a whole different meaning and context. It is not about treating everybody the same, instead, it’s about meeting individual needs, being prepared to be different. It’s about equality of opportunity and an inclusive framework that carries through all policies and actions. In an inclusive school, everybody’s voice is heard, encouraged and valued. Strong relationships are the key to an inclusive school but it is important to say that these relationships won’t just happen… they have to be nurtured and cultivated so that they can evolve and be flexible to ever-changing demands and needs.
Inclusion is not automatic, but organic. It requires real commitment from all members of the school’s community. Provision of necessary resourcing can be challenging and take time to research, monitor and acquire. Ensuring inclusive practice, however, is our responsibility and it’s the right of each and every person within their scope of responsibility. It’s the right thing to do.
An inclusive school is a learning school for all members of the community. The wellbeing of all staff needs to be a real consideration, enabling staff to manage ever-changing workloads within a climate of support and encouragement. The need to ensure awareness of mental health issues has never been more significant as pressures and expectations alter and shift.
In inclusive schools, student’s voice is an important element and this is not just about having a school council who ask questions about school dinners and toilets. Students need to feel valued and to be enabled to build opinion and collaborative thinking skills that can ultimately impact on their whole school experiences. Teaching students to debate and question responsibly the status quo is a sign of an inclusive school.
Including parents/carers is significant within an inclusive school. We know that parents are not a homogeneous group and some can make inclusion very difficult. We know that parental support is key to the success of our schools. Schools sometimes feel that the challenge of enrolling that important parent voice is often insurmountable but the result is worth the effort and builds the strength of the inclusive platform. Together we ARE stronger.
Every school is different but an inclusive school feels different. Everyone is welcomed and supported. The inclusive school knows that everything cannot always be perfect but that being inclusive is a continuous journey. They reflect, listen, try, change and adapt … and never give up or give in.
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