DFNZ Dyslexia Aware Policy Considerations


School Polices and Good Practice

There are many policies that are required to help a self-governing school meet its statutory and non-statutory obligations to parents, pupils, and the wider community. Policies help to ensure that the school provides effective teaching and learning, management, and care of its pupils. The process of developing a Dyslexia Aware Learning and Teaching Policy has the potential to impact on the achievement, attainment and life chances of all students in the school, not just the 10 – 20% with dyslexic type learning needs.  Below is an extract from the 4D Policy Development Template which is designed to lead schools through an interactive process to engage all staff in fine tuning learning and teaching against National Curriculum criteria and with particular regard to meeting the  needs of dyslexic learners.


As Hon. Heather Roy, Associate Minister of Education said recently:

“Education is not 'one size fits all'......The New Zealand Curriculum is for all students - irrespective of their gender, ethnicity, beliefs, ability or disability, social or cultural background, or geographical location.  The key competencies, learning areas, and effective pedagogies form the framework and context for all assessment practices.”

 

In the 4D Policy Template the generic statements below are fine tuned to focus on the needs of students with dyslexic type learning needs and to support schools to identify opportunities to tweak the learning and teaching of vulnerable learners so that “no student is left behind’.

 

Drawing up Policies
Although there are no hard and fast rules in producing policies it is important that the Principal, the teaching staff and the Board work together and that expertise within the school and wider community is sought to make the task less onerous.
Initial discussions should look at:
• The key issues
• Underlying principles
• Who will be consulted

• The process for consultation
• The lead person
• Timescales

 

Policy Format
The format of a policy can be produced in various ways, but the following is clear, concise and easy to follow.

  • Purpose – A statement referring to the reason the policy is being produced.
  • Consultation – This should include all the people who were consulted in the drawing up of this policy. (This is useful when looking at reviewing a policy).
  • Links with other policies – Include any policies that may contain cross-referencing. This helps to ensure that policies do not contradict each other.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation – this should indicate how frequently the policies are monitored, the method of evaluation and the lead committee/person.
  • Dates of Establishment, Implementation and Review

 

 

Key Values for dyslexic students

The three key values of the New Zealand Curriculum are:

  • Excellence
  • Innovation, enquiry and curiosity
  • Respect

The Dyslexia Policy gives the school an opportunity to make a statement which outlines how these values form the bedrock of provision for dyslexic learners /those with dyslexic type learning needs.

Your policy should also provide answers to the following questions:

  • How does the school ensure that provision for dyslexic students/those with dyslexic type learning needs reflects the 8 statements of the New Zealand Curriculum?
  • High expectation
  • Treaty of Waitangi
  • Cultural diversity
  • Inclusion
  • Learning to learn
  • Community cohesion
  • Coherence
  • In what ways are dyslexic learners/those with dyslexic type learning needs empowered and supported to perform at ability appropriate levels within the 5 key competencies despite weaknesses with certain basic skills:

 

Thinking – becoming competent thinkers and problem solvers, reflecting on their own learning, drawing on personal experience and intuitions, ask questions and challenge the basis of assumptions and perceptions
Using language, symbols and texts – developing the ability to interpret and use words, numbers, images, movements, metaphor and technologies in a range of contexts
Managing self – becoming enterprising, resourceful, reliable and resilient, with self motivation and positive attitudes
Relating to others – developing the ability to listen actively, being open to new learning and working effectively together
Participating and contributing – participating in and contributing to the school and local community and demonstrating the confidence to participate within new contexts

For a word doc download click here.

 


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