Children's participation
Children's participation

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Children's participation

Activity 5

Adapting participatory methods

0 hours 45 minutes

This activity is an opportunity to reflect on how you might adapt and use the ideas introduced in Activity 4. Imagine you are running a summer holiday club for children aged 4–11 years. The club includes some children who are unable to read.

How might you adapt the diamond ranking exercise (identified in Activity 4) to help these children collectively participate in deciding on a venue for a minibus outing? Write down your ideas.

Discussion

There are many ways of ensuring inclusive participation. Although some children do not read they may be proficient at communicating with signs such as British Sign Language (BSL) or symbols such as makaton. These can be printed onto the cards alongside words. Even children who do not use these methods are often interested in learning new forms of communication. Alternatively you might find it useful to replace words on each card with pictures of potential venues for the trip from tourism brochures or the internet. It is important however to make sure that all children know what the pictures represent.

One method to encourage this is to involve the children in finding and cutting or printing the pictures in preparation for the activity.

Another potential idea is to pair children for the activity to encourage peer support. Older or more experienced children can support younger or less experienced children. The person facilitating the activity can verbally check with children, particularly those who appear quiet, and if required act on their behalf to move the cards according to their wishes. However children should not be forced into having a view, upholding their right to participate may involve respecting their right to either remain silent or to take a neutral position.

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