worlddownsyndrome tnOn 21st March every year World Down Syndrome Day is celebrated. This year, Eléa (UV - Year 11) held a Chapel on Monday morning to mark the day and a charity film night on Tuesday evening.

Here, Eléa talks about the events and why the day is so significant to her:

'In the Chapel I discussed what Down Syndrome is, a condition where an extra chromosome is added to the 21st pair, as well as my story relating to Down Syndrome and other key factors relating. Such as an interview with a married couple, both of whom have DS, about the 1967 Abortion Rights. This included a law allowing the window for abortion to be lengthened up until birth for babies with Down Syndrome and other disabilities. As well as, I talked about this year’s theme: 'Inclusion Means...'. Finally, I read Emily Pearl Kingsley’s poem Welcome to Holland, describing what it is like to have a child with disabilities.

On the Monday we saw many colours, patterns and sizes of odd socks worn across year groups, as we all rocked our socks to celebrate our differences. This was then followed by the movie night in Chapel where we watched the heart warming, and thought-provoking, The Memory Keeper’s daughter. We spilled some popcorn, ate some sweets, and shared a couple of tears, as we all enjoyed getting comfy with our blankets for charity. The charity I chose to support, Down South London, helps children with Down Syndrome from birth until the age of six. They provide free help and services for the child and their family, which is not free under the NHS. This charity will forever be close to my heart as they helped my family and my older brother Ru, who has DS. Because of DSL Ru was able to get all the support he needed, and is now nearly 18, thriving and ready to start college in September. I am extremely grateful to everyone who donated, having attended or not, as well as those who helped me organise and set up the film night and fundraising. We have managed to raise a spectacular £360 to date - and counting! Happy World Down Syndrome Day to everyone, and I can’t wait to see all of you rock your socks next year! (Teachers and parents included!)'.