YES@Areté Learning Trust, a local organisation that focuses on inclusive support in the education sector, has been invited to share good practice at a national conference.

Kath Lawson, Director of Inclusive Support for the national award-winning YES@Areté Learning Trust will be a guest speaker on 9th and 10 July at the National Conference for Development Coordination Disorder, organised by Cardiff University. Kath will showcase how YES@Areté Learning Trust has promoted inclusive sports by working closely with community clubs under the umbrella of their successful  ‘Activities for All’ programme. Based at Richmond School, the organisation is part of the Areté Learning Trust of which Stokesley, Northallerton and Richmond School are members.

The conference will unite practitioners and researchers to share current good practice, and explore the latest research in relation to identifying and supporting children and adults with DCD.

Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD, sometimes referred to as Dyspraxia) is a motor skills disorder that affects 5-6% of the population. DCD is characterised by functional difficulties that affect daily living.

Using funding from the National Lottery Community Fund the focus of ‘Activities for All’ has been on using community links to provide inclusive access to exercise opportunities for all students, including those with DCD.

Kath Lawson said: “I am honoured to be invited to be a guest speaker at the DCD national conference to share what we have learned from our project and hopefully inspire others to promote inclusive provision for children with DCD. The project has relied heavily on our inspirational coaches and has shown the power of community links.

“It has been known for some time that students with coordination difficulties are less likely to take part in diverse activities than their peers. However, research shows that it is not the case that students with coordination difficulties don’t like sport, rather they need to be given opportunities to participate with coaches who have an understanding of their needs.

“Our case studies show that engagement and success have increased confidence and self-esteem for students and have developed an enjoyment of a range of activities.”

So far, 141 students have benefitted from the programme and 11 sessions in total of ‘Swimming for all’, ‘Cycling for all’, ‘Dancing for all’, and ‘Pilates for all’ have been organised with support from Stage One Cycles at Hawes, Richmond Dales Swimming Club and Aspire Dance.

More information about the ‘Activities for All’ project is available via the website www.yes@aretelearningtrust.net or by emailing yes@aretelearningtrust.org