to support children who find reading more difficult”
On Friday March
11th school was buzzing as staff, parents, governors and members
of the Local Authority worked and learned together, around
the theme of helping the children at Alexandra to become happy
and confident readers.
Parents and carers from 30 of our 75 families came to school
for all or part of the day and joined a series of workshops
and seminars led by experts in literacy.
Why did we choose
reading for our conference?
| Our data
shows that overall, children make steady progress in reading
and that attainment is broadly in line with scores in
other subjects including Maths. But I have been concerned
that some of our more able children - usually those with
EBD - have been leaving school with reading skills and
scores which are below potential and below the threshold
for independence at High school or in adult life.
Many other children,
including some on the Autism continuum, have made progress
in learning important letter and word recognition skills but
have found it hard to use these abilities in relation to understanding
and enjoying real books. Parents are often worried and frustrated
by their children’s slow progress in reading and in order
to try to help, they reach back to their own experiences in
school. So an aim for the day was to clarify the task we all
have regarding developing literacy. Our understanding is that
children learn to read in a multi layered way; including sharing
books at home, listening to stories at bedtime, learning to
recognise significant whole words and of course through developing
phonic skills too. Our children are only going to make good
progress in reading if we have a coherent process in place
which is suited to their learning styles and where children’s
families understand and support our methods.
The Key Note Speaker was a nationally recognised author and
reading expert, Ms Dee Reid. Parents, Governors and staff
listened to her presentation with wrapt attention, occasionally
breaking out into laughter or applause. The whole of her Presentation
is available as a PowerPoint on Fronter.
Since the conference, staff have generated next steps
including more training, new resources, changes in class
room practice and ideas for more joined up working between
home and school. Stand by for further news over the
weeks and months to come.