22 Oct Dyslexia Awareness Week 2020
All the students who attend the Lyndhurst Dyslexia Centre had a chance to watch the award-winning film Mical. This is the true and inspiring story behind the founders of the online intervention program Nessy. The insightful discussions the students had after watching the film showed how important it is to have the opportunity to sensitively discuss neurodiversity. These discussions focused on both the challenges and strengths that these differences in thinking can bring to our lives. If you have not yet had a chance to watch this incredible film yourselves, it is still available on the Nessy website.
To raise awareness and to foster a greater understanding of dyslexia within the school community, all classes in Key Stage 2 had an assembly on dyslexia during the week. The feedback from class teachers was that the students at the LDC often relished the chance to talk about their dyslexia and there is a continued and growing sense from our students that their dyslexia may have its challenges, but they know that this difference in thinking can be their superpower too!
This year’s Dyslexia Awareness Week was entitled Dyslexia Creates and as part of the celebrations, students had a chance to get creative. Inspired by the artist Victor Nunes, they transformed everyday objects into art. Here are a few of their wonderful creations.
The students have been focusing on using visual imagery to improve their spelling. Earlier this month I was lucky enough to be able to host an event with Olive Hickmott from Empowered Learning who is an expert in the field of using visual imagery to improve spelling. The link to this webinar with Olive Hickmott hosted by Bellhouse Educational Charity will be made available shortly. In the meantime please do ask the students to explain how they have been using this technique. It was wonderful to witness the pleasure on the students’ faces when they could spell a focus word forwards and backwards too!!
In order to enhance this technique to include those tricky words where there is no secure visual image (e.g. from, where, their), the students worked on creating 3D images with plasticine. Our students’ strength in creativity was utilised in developing their 3D images and then building the words in plasticine. On reflecting on the process, the students truly felt that this process could help them master those tricky words which can be such a challenge!
As part of Black History Month, we ended our week of raising awareness by focusing on the work of Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE – a black, female and dyslexic space scientist. In the words of one of our Year 6 students who were so inspired by Dr Aderin-Pocock’s life story, ‘It gives me so much hope for my future and I do not feel so worried now. I can’t wait until I’m old enough and can tell people what I have achieved and had to overcome.’
To find out more about the inspirational Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, you can watch this interview by Made in Dyslexia.
It has felt so enriching to have taken this time during Dyslexia Awareness Week 2020 to reflect on our students’ own personal strengths and challenges and be inspired by other dyslexics’ life stories. And to end in the words of Maggie Aderin-Pocock: