Starting a new school

By | October 8, 2018

At this time of year the focus for many is the start of the summer holidays. Whether you are a child eagerly anticipating carefree days playing at the park, teachers relishing weeks free from marking and early alarm calls, or parents planning childcare and entertainment the six weeks out of the usual routine is something to remember for years to come.

Towards the end of August, thoughts will turn to starting back at school. For some children this will be an exciting time, as they meet up with friends and enjoy the learning in lessons, as well as developing other interests byjoining out of school clubs. For new starters, and their parents, the first days of term will evoke a range of emotions. In additions to what might be taught in the classroom, they face the challenges of finding new friends and discovering their way around the school. It can be exciting and worrying, as well as quite tiring.

Some children find school much more difficult to cope with. For these children, the challenges of the first few weeks can continue throughout the school year. If your child has dyslexia, or related barriers to learning, such as dyspraxia or dyscalculia then keeping up with lessons, applying learning and building social relationships can be much more of a struggle. If there is not effective support in place for these children, then school can become a place to survive, rather than thrive.

Fortunately school staff are now much better trained to identify children with dyslexia. It is now a better understood and recognised condition which is quite common. For this reason many schools now have systems in place to initially identify children who may be affected, as well as support systems to help the children to learn. Some mainstream schools are now equipped with specialist equipment, along with trained staff that can aid pupils learning.

If your child has Dyslexia and you want to provide them with the best opportunities for learning, you may want consider the option of a specialist dyslexia school. At these schools every aspect of the environment and learning has been developed to offer the best education for children with dyslexia, dyspraxia or dyscalculia, so they are able to achieve to their full potential.

At a dyslexia school the pupils will follow the same curriculum as mainstream schools, with opportunities to take GCSE exams. The difference is that a full range of teaching styles will be used to support learning, class numbers will be smaller to enable individual needs to be met and a greater number of vocational courses and accreditation will be offered.

Children with dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia can be very bright, yet struggle to communicate their knowledge and understanding in ways which are recognised in mainstream teaching. This can be very frustrating and can knock confidence and disengage pupils from further attempts to give things a try. By utilising a wider range of resources and teaching styles, a specialist dyslexia school better equips pupils to demonstrate what they have learnt and apply it. This offers the pupils a sense of achievement and increased confidence, both of which are great motivating factors for further learning.

Making friends and the sense of belonging to a group is one of the key factors in helping all children to have a positive experience of school. By being educated with other dyslexic pupils, each child will find it easier to share experiences and find common ground, helping them to build confidence, friendships and social skills. These skills are as important for life as the academic studies that you may gain qualifications in.

There are many benefits to gaining a fuller understanding of each child in the school, their individual needs, abilities, interests and motivations. For a start, what may be considered a small step for one child can be a huge leap for another, when you know every child well their every development can be appropriately rewarded and praised to build on their confidence. The staff are also better able to work with parents and guardians, providing useful feedback, reassurance and shared goals.

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