Integration and Wellbeing at Nelson Mandela School (Primary)

As part of the Social Pedagogy department at NMS the Integration and Wellbeing Team is here to ensure the social and emotional wellbeing of our students, so as to minimise obstacles to their learning. We recognise that accessibility to learning does not only depend on the delivery and comprehension of the academic curriculum, but also on the best possible integration of our students into the school environment. For that purpose the focus of our work lies in supporting our students with their social, emotional, behavioural, sensory processing, and motor skills.

Our work is

  • Student-centred and student-led
  • individualised
  • intersectional
  • empowering

As we acknowledge that every person is unique, our approach is individualised, tailored to every student based not on our assumptions of them, but rather guided by their own desires and talents.

As a team, we value the complexity of intersectional identities in which gender, class, race, ability and neurodiversity meet. Based on our awareness of this, we create and implement a personalised support plan for each of our students so as to give them the tools to enjoy themselves and thrive in the classroom and beyond.

The NMS student body is diverse and we believe that

  • difference and individuality should be encouraged
  • neurodiversity, gender variance, and bodily diversity are natural and valuable
  • the concepts of a “normal” or “right” body and mind are a cultural construct
  • pedagogy must reflect that through individualisation of content and delivery

Through our support we foster self-confidence in our students, as well as autonomy, and authority over their own needs. We help them to find coping strategies that will allow them to respond to potentially challenging circumstances without compromising their own integrity or that of others.

To encourage an optimal learning environment in class, we also provide guidance, recommendations and strategies to school staff to raise awareness and to support them in promoting an inclusive and accessible learning experience for all students.

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Philip Wade, Valentina Di Claudio and Agnes Trzak are the Integration Pedagogues atNelson Mandela Primary School. They provide additional support to students with social, emotional, behavioural, sensory and physical issues.



Philip Wade

I am a paediatric occupational therapist from the U.K. I have worked at Nelson Mandela School since October 2016, and have helped to create and develop the integration section of the social pedagogy department. I have over 13 years’ experience, across 3 countries, working with children with a range of disorders, disabilities and special needs. I have previously worked in a bilingual educational setting and I have specialised in working with children with autism spectrum disorder,sensory processing disorder and challenging behaviours.


Valentina Di Claudio

I am a Clinical Psychologist from Italy. I have worked at Nelson Mandela Secondary School since November 2017 as Learning Support Assistant and at the primary school as an Integration Pedagogue from 2018. I have been working in Italy, Holland and the U.K. for 18 years and I have experience with integration and inclusion projects in bilingual educational settings. I have also previously worked with whole families addressing emotional, social and behavioural disorders.


Agnes Trzak, PhD

I am a guidance counsellor and coach with an academic background in Communication Studies. I have worked at the Nelson Mandela Primary School since November 2018 as an Integration and Wellbeing Pedagogue. Previously I worked in higher education as a lecturer in the humanities as well as in a multilingual school setting in England. Additionally, as a neurodiversity and LGBTQUAI* activist, I have worked extensively to make education accessible and enjoyable for all.

26.10.2020 Nelson-Mandela-Schule · Staatliche Internationale Schule Berlin | Nelson Mandela School · State International School Berlin