Dyslexia Friendly School in Action

What a fabulous time I had first thing on Monday morning when I went to Yester Primary School’s Dyslexia Awareness Assembly.

This was part of the whole school’s drive to fulfil the ‘Dyslexia Friendly Schools Pledge’ as well as of the Support for Learning teacher, Lesley Cusack’s participation in a leadership course. The staff have done a great deal of professional development this year, both in terms of formal sessions run by Lesley and myself and the everyday, almost incidental discussions about the learning needs of individuals that go on every week of the year.

Lesley had asked for volunteers from the p7?s and got offers of help from 10 children, only a couple of whom have dyslexia.

The children told the rest of the school what  difficulties and strengths learners with dyslexia may have in a most professional and entertaining way.

Then they talked about learning styles, stressing that we are all different and that diversity is to be celebrated.

Finally they walked (or rather sang) the talk. They sang a song with actions and before asking the gathered crowd to follow suit, asked them to show whether they had preferred to listen, see or do the actions.

It was interesting to see that there were a fair few who preferred to look or listen rather than act; although of course the majority identified themselves as kinaesthetic leaners.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable session which very neatly illustrated something of what it means to have dyslexia.

All credit to the children – and of course to Lesley for her indefatigable work.

Google Apps supports isolated learners

At a recent CPD session at Knox Academy, several teachers experienced using Google Docs for the first time.

We tried using an application which would allow a pupil at home to type on something set by a teacher, e.g. a Past Paper. The teacher can send responses and explanations back.

One Guidance teacher planned to put her learning straight into practice to support a pupil in his final year of school. While undergoing medical treatment which will keep him at home and in hospital  over several months he can keep in touch with teachers and peers by participating in pieces of work online.

Look at the Youtube clip Googledocs in plain english for further direction.