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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, Agnes Trzak, Tanya Mokdad and Dino Antunovic are the Integration & Wellbeing Pedagogues at Nelson Mandela Primary School.

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Philip Wade

I am a paediatric occupational therapist and certified cognitive behavioural therapy practitioner from the U.K. I have worked at NMS since 2016, and have helped to create and develop the integration & wellbeing section of the social pedagogy department. Since 2004 I have worked with children with a variety of additional needs, in a range of settings, across 3 different countries. I have previously worked in a multilingual educational setting (Malta) and I have specialised in the fields of autism spectrum, sensory integration and challenging behaviour. I strongly believe that all environments, especially schools, should be inclusive and barrier-free, and it is my vocation to work toward this.

Agnes Trzak, PhD

I am a certified psychological counsellor and ADHD coach for children. As a neurodiversity and LGBTQAI* activist I work to make education accessible and enjoyable for all. At NMS my work focuses on training attention, confidence, and self-worth with our students. With an academic background in Communication Studies I have previously worked as a lecturer in higher education, as well as a teacher in a multilingual school setting in the UK. As an author I write on the topics of  emancipatory pedagogy, disability and mental health.

Tanya Mokdad

I am a state-recognised social therapist, SEN educator and certified art therapist, and have lived and worked in Berlin since 2013. I am Lebanse/Polish but grew up in the North of Sweden. My professional experience ranges from working in inclusive preschools to pedagogical work with adults in a supported living setting. I have specialised in Down syndrome and neurodiversity, especially the autism spectrum and ADHD.

I also have several years' experience of working with children and adolescents who have suffered complex trauma through war - I'm a co- founder of a non-profit organisation that has been organising and running creative art workshops in several refugee centres in Berlin since 2015. I am very passionate about inclusion, participation and education, and want to ensure that every student reaches their full potential and independence.

Dino Antunovic

I am a UK registered psychologist, holding a BA in Psychology and MSc in Health Psychology. I have worked at NMS since February 2020. I have several years of international experience working in public hospitals and volunteer organisations in the fields of health, counseling, teaching assistance, and education. I have also worked in the field of challenging behaviour with children and I possess 4 years of general nursing training, several certificates in challenging behaviour approaches and mental health support. I'm also volunteering as a child psychologist for a Global Therapeutic and Learning Support Network.

I’m passionate about health psychology, a non-aggressive methods approach, autism awareness, and gender issues which I promote within the school environment.

 


05.08.2021 Nelson-Mandela-Schule · Staatliche Internationale Schule Berlin | Nelson Mandela School · State International School Berlin