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Context and principles

The need to introduce an actual adapting method depends upon both the individual or group involved and the aims of the situation.

The overall broader approach of a programme of activities will also rely upon the philosophy of organisation involved. A way of representing this overall programme perspective generally consists of what is often termed the inclusive model or spectrum.

Inclusion spectrum – activities, games and sports

  • Full integration – adaptations made as with any regular exceptions in a class or group, i.e. no tackling in invasion games situations.
  • Participation with some support from a teacher, i.e. minor adjustment.
  • Definite modifications made for an integrated participation, i.e. a hitting ‘T’ in rounders.
  • Limited adaptations for inclusive participation, i.e. rules, roles, area.
  • Main adaptations made so that the participation is really a parallel activity, i.e. a separate modified invasion game for a group
  • Adaptations so a special activity, game or sport is created for the individual/group, i.e. project adapted games.
  • Distance opportunities, where by the participation takes place at another time or place because of the specialist provision, i.e. after school/community club.

To make the teaching and learning opportunities more effective, an overall programme of activities should provide a range from the inclusion spectrum.

The principles of adapting

To use the adapting approaches prudently it is always wise to consider if there are other important aspects. The following could be loosely termed as the ‘principles’ and are recommended for guidance.

  1. Only adapt away from the mainstream format if it is necessary to achieve the aims – optimum goal.
  2. Develop the adapting process in a natural way so as not to use it as a method of focusing upon the individual/group too much – reduce the focus on the individual.
  3. Involve the individual/group in the adapting process – co-empowerment.
  4. Allow the process sufficient time in the approach to have an effect – experience can reveal practical implications.
  5. Monitor and manage the adaptation and don't be afraid to change aspects if it is not achieving the aims – be adaptable in the light of experience and pupil reactions.

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Doug Williamson
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