Last November OFSTED published their research “Now the whole school is reading: supporting struggling readers in secondary school”.
The introduction states, “Each year, around one-quarter of 11-year-olds do not reach the expected standards in reading at the end of their primary school”.
Very informative, but I am left with questions and no ideas who to address them to, for answers.
- The report itemises extra costs, training and resources that secondary schools have had to fund, but there is no mention of why children are transferring from primary with these challenges and the case for better funding in primary.
- Did the work include or exclude neurodivergent students who are diagnosed with Dyslexia, ADHD etc? If included, this confirms that Dyslexics can learn to read, which is not generally accepted; if excluded, this is not a representative sample.
- Was there any acknowledgement as to whether the students were visual thinkers and if so did the assessments and strategies take this into account.
- Do any detailed assessments check to discover whether the student is picturing words in their Word Form Area. This specific reading gap is an essential skill for fluency and accelerating phonics.
- Do any of the remedial programmes do anything to reduce a child’s anxiety that has developed over years of failure/bullying etc, such as grounding and breathing techniques?
- When reading aloud in a classroom, performance anxiety can make struggling readers much worse than their actual skill level.
- The report is an interesting description of reading, but what about spelling and handwriting, which are part of the same challenge?
If you want to know more do join one of my free online live classes, Thriving with Dyslexia or Visual Thinking and Learning for Adults. Just click the link..
For other resources, look up www.visualkids.co.uk and www.empoweringlearning.co.uk. When building on skills and encouraging creativity you will find their strengths increase and learning difficulties reduce.
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My name is Olive Hickmott, I am a health and learning coach, specialising in working with neurodivergent students. I would be pleased to support you in any way I can.
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My latest books are:
The Elephants in the Classroom: using every student’s natural power of Mental Imagery to enhance learning: Neurodiversity through the lens of mental Imagery.
Bridges to Success – How to transform Learning Difficulties
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