Reach Out does Dyslexia Awareness 2015
Dyslexia Awareness 2015 focused on two areas: raising awareness and supportive strategies.
The morning featured a panel of NGHS students openly discussing their experiences with dyslexia and taking questions from the visiting schools. We shared experiences and tackled some difficulties including how colour can aid with learning, and how to memorise difficult spellings.
The sharing of tactics and experiences helped alleviate some of our visitors’ concerns of dyslexia and learning difficulties, through the establishment of a supportive community. Children became more confident asking questions, and even discovered some staff in the room also had stories to tell.
After lunch we welcomed children’s author Linda Chapman to speak. Mrs Chapman explained her eldest daughter also experienced dyslexia and gave us all some helpful tips moving forward with our literacy.
We were then thrilled to assist in creating a new ‘baddie’ to feature in Mrs Chapman’s next adventure series - a very fun and creative part of the day.
We finished off the event looking at supportive technology, specifically, the use of iPads and apps to enhance learning.
In the evening, we also hosted a Parent and Teacher for adults supporting children with dyslexia.
In line with with National Dyslexia Week and to continue from the positive feedback received last year, Dyslexia Awareness 2015 was open to pupils who may find some or all aspects of learning difficult. The session wanted to collapse anxiety and negative attitudes towards dyslexia by promoting simple and effective learning strategies, tried and tested by our older NGHS students.
Different to the layout of last year's event, this year's focus was on creating a sense of community by bringing together adults, professionals, parents and teachers whom have hands-on experience supporting children with dyslexia; a day of sharing knowledge and best practice.
The immediate beneficiaries were attending children and staff, as well as many parents attending the evening’s seminar. Information of apps, visual stress and learning strategies have been uploaded to Reach Out’s blog, available for our partner schools and community to access free-of-charge.
Our Head of Educational Support covers several schools in the Nottingham area and has identified a lack of support network between parents, teachers, professionals and young people/children will dyslexic tendencies. Through a specialist raising awareness and sharing best practice, Dyslexia Awareness 2015 aimed to identify a community of struggles and strengths.
We hope to run this event again next year, however, inviting parents to the session rather than a separate seminar.
Resources including a learnign support specialist, visiting author, iPads and learning support applications.
Financial support is provided by HSBC.
Parents and teachers were asked to provide feedback following the event and seminar. Children contributed their thoughts on a mood board throughout the day. Feedback has proven teachers, parents and children found the event useful and practical moving forward.
We engaged with 47 boys and girls from 10 city and county primaries. The event was designed for children in Years 4 to 6.
Dyslexia Awareness will be delivered again next year with updated and relevant strategies to learning.