Creating A Supportive Space For Pupils With SEND In KS2: Recommended Inclusive Books

In education, encouraging an inclusive environment where every child is given the opportunity to thrive is paramount. This is especially true when it comes to supporting pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) within Key Stage 2 (KS2).

One powerful resource is ensuring schools are well stocked with high-quality books that not only offer insight into the lives of those with disabilities but also instil empathy and understanding in children.

Here are 7 of our favourite children’s books covering subjects such as disabilities, autism, OCD, and providing a wealth of knowledge and compassion for KS2 children.

Recommended Books for Inclusion in KS2

  1. Wonder, R.J. Palacio: This modern classic tells the story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences, as he navigates the challenges of starting school. It’s a moving tale of acceptance and kindness.
  2. El Deafo, Cece Bell: Through the lens of a bunny superhero, this graphic novel explores the author’s own experiences with hearing loss and the challenges of navigating a hearing world.
  3. The Great Fox Illusion, Justyn Edwards: Secrets and illusions abound as a group of young magicians compete for the prize of a lifetime in this gripping adventure. Main character, Flick Lions, has a prosthetic limb and proves a strong female lead, promoting diversity and body positivity.
  4. A Kind Of Spark, Elle McNicoll: Tells the story of 11-year-old Addie as she campaigns for a memorial in memory of the witch trials that took place in her Scottish hometown. Addie challenges how the people in her town see her, and her autism to make her voice heard.
  5. The Goldfish Boy, Lisa Thompson: A story about finding friendship when you’re lonely – and hope when all you feel is fear. Twelve-year-old Matthew is trapped in his bedroom by crippling OCD, until the day he is the last person to see his next door neighbour’s toddler, Teddy, before he goes missing. Matthew must turn detective and unravel the mystery of Teddy’s disappearance – with the help of a brilliant cast of supporting characters.
  6. Wonderfully Wired Brain, DK: An informative and inclusive children’s guide to neurodiversity written by neurodiverse author Louise Gooding. This title challenges misconceptions and shows how neurodivergent brains work a little differently.
  7. Growing Up Autistic and Happy, Camilla Pang: As a child, Camilla loved patterns and putting things in order. She was obsessed with Stephen Hawking, and the only language she really understood was science. Diagnosed with autism aged 8, Camilla saw the world very differently. In this unique and brilliant book, Camilla shares her scientific survival guide to growing up, helping neurodiverse young readers navigate the world around them and giving them the courage to grow up perfectly happy in who they are.

The Power of Inclusive Literature

Inclusion is a commitment to ensuring that every child feels valued, understood, and has the opportunity to see their own situation represented in the books they read.

Books offer narratives that allow young readers to see the world from different perspectives and build bridges of empathy.

The books on this list champion the lives, challenges, and triumphs of those with SEND. By including these books in the curriculum and reading lists for KS2 pupils, educators can open up conversations about disability, neurodiversity, and inclusion.

Explore more books: Diversity & Empathy – KS2