Thursday, February 11, 2010

Muritai School - The First Dyslexia Friendly School in New Zealand

 After two years of hard work and an incredibly rewarding journey, Muritai School has become the first school in New Zealand to be recognised by the 4D for Schools programme as being Dyslexia Friendly.

4D believes that Muritai has been "an important benchmark in NZ for how 4D perceives a 4D Best Practice School to be, in terms of current practice and policy for Dyslexia."

We are absolutely thrilled to have reached this point but it is the journey itself that has opened many eyes.

The importance of whole school involvement and ownership when taking the Dyslexia Best Practice journey cannot be underestimated. We have discovered that the journey itself often proves more valuable than the end goal in terms of providing a deeper understanding of what really works. 

The journey to becoming Dyslexia Friendly has given Muritai a valuable opportunity to examine what we teach and how we teach it. It has shown us how consistency of methods and a shared understanding of how one size does not fit all is the key to unlocking the barriers often put in place by dyslexia. In turn we have found that unlocking these barriers for some has the knock on effect of providing alternative directions and insights for all.

Now that we have reached the goal of becoming a Dyslexia Friendly school the journey continues. We have set out an action plan for the next two years with goals that are both manageable and achievable. Most importantly the action plan offers many diverse opportunities for learning for our dyslexic learners and all of their fellow students.

This is how the next year at Muritai School is shaping up:-

We are now well into term one and our focus this term is recording. By looking at two areas within this focus we will be ensuring Dyslexia Friendly classrooms continue to develop. 
These two areas are :-
1. Teaching staff and students how to use Buzan Mind Mapping techniques effectively
2. Investigating and trialling adaptations to standardised assessments to give our dyslexic students the best chances to show what they are capable of achieving.

If you are interested in Mind Mapping, take a look at this post on the sister blog to this one, The Learning Den blog :-

Good luck with your own journeys in becoming Dyslexia Friendly!