We aim to support all our children to achieve their potential. Children who require support to get there are catered for by a group of highly committed staff. The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, Brigette Helwes, co-ordinates the provision and support for students identified with learning needs by liaising with whānau, classroom teachers and teacher’s aides. We also utilise the expertise of outside specialists on a regular basis.
For those children who require it, we schedule regular IEP meetings (Individual Education Plan) to discuss how the child is progressing, their next learning goals and which strategies will be used to achieve these. These plans are reviewed for effectiveness and changes made to meet needs.
We employ a highly trained Reading Recovery teacher for those 6 year old children who need skilled and highly specialised tuition to meet their reading target. We intervene while the children are young and the gap between peers can be closed more easily.
We also have a dedicated group of parent and grandparent volunteers who work with children to reinforce classroom programmes in reading, writing and maths.
The Dyslexia Foundation of New Zealand defines dyslexia as: “A specific learning difference which is constitutional in origin and which, for a given level of ability, may cause unexpected difficulties in the acquisition of certain literacy and numeracy skills.”
"Dyslexia is a learning preference, not a disability..."
Whilst dyslexia can present significant challenges for some learners, there is increasing understanding and recognition of the fact that, in reality, it describes a unique way of thinking and learning, rather than a deficit, and that it has a neuro-biological basis.
Understanding and adapting is key to enabling dyslexic learners to achieve to the best of their ability. Dyslexia has no relationship to intelligence and, in fact, a range of strengths in higher-order thinking processes have been associated with dyslexia.