Throughout the month of October, the SPW community, once again, got on-board with Code Read Dyslexia Network to spread awareness about dyslexia.
The aim of the Get On-board campaign was to spread awareness and understanding about dyslexia. The campaign reached out to the SPW and wider community, offering an opportunity to better understand dyslexia and how we can best support and nurture dyslexic learners.
A huge range of activities and programs were hosted around the school tailored for our various audiences; students, parents, staff and the wider community. We were thrilled with the response we received throughout the month. It was incredible to watch the community come together to celebrate and support those with dyslexia.
Professional Learning for Teachers
It is critical teachers are given the right tools to create a positive and inclusive environment for those students with dyslexia, to ensure equal access to the curriculum and opportunities to be successful.
Therefore, at SPW, we are committed to providing all teachers with evidence based teaching methods, with access to assistive technology and support in making reasonable accommodations for students with dyslexia.
This year all teachers and Education Support Officers participated in Professional Learning workshops on dyslexia and learning difficulties, run by Educational Specialist, Sandy Russo from SPELD SA.
Staff were also treated to a red themed staff morning tea to continue raising awareness about dyslexia.
Information for SPW parents and the wider community
Parents, staff and the wider community were invited to attend a dyslexia information night hosted by Educational Consultant and Advocate Bill Hansberry.
Those who attended gained valuable insights into what dyslexia is and how we can best support children living with dyslexia. The night was a big success, with over 160 people attending from across Adelaide.
The SPW students were involved in a comprehensive range of activities to further their understanding of dyslexia and celebrate everyone’s unique way of learning.
In the first half of the term, the whole school assembly dedicated time towards unpacking dyslexia for the students. The opportunity was then given to students to watch videos of Olympic athletes, Alex Edmonson and Tilly Wood about their experience of dyslexia and the huge successes they have accomplished in their chosen professions.
It was a great way for all students, particularly those with dyslexia, to hear first-hand that dyslexia need not be a barrier to any career.
Other activities included, ordering and consuming 365 big red donuts to go towards the fund raising efforts, lighting up the big gum tree along the Partridge Street fence in recognition of the dyslexia awareness month, along with a red paper plane competition.
With all the different activities across the month, the SPW community managed to raise a total of $785 to be donated to Code Read Dyslexia Network.
Our Ongoing Commitment
As a result of our engagement with Dyslexia SA, Code Read Dyslexia Network and Learning Difficulties Australia over the past 3 years, SPW has committed to adopting evidence-based practices in the teaching of reading and spelling.
We have engaged with Associate Professor and Researcher, Dr Lorraine Hammond, to guide us on this journey. Her breadth of work in literacy and preventing literacy based learning difficulties, supports SPW’s philosophy of full inclusion and provides quality Tier 1 and Tier 2 level support within the classroom. Her ongoing involvement will be of tremendous benefit to all of our learners.
We have also made a commitment to provide supportive reading material across the school with decodable readers. SPW are at the forefront with this amongst schools across South Australia and are excited to offer this to our students.
With our on-going progress monitoring and screening assessments we are identifying dyslexia early, ensuring there is understanding and appropriate accommodations to support these students.
We look forward to the on-going developments that go towards supporting those with dyslexia and would like to thank the community for once again getting behind Dyslexia Awareness Month this year.
Thank you to Jo Hirst, Learning Support Teacher, for sharing this story.