The approach is to cover a practical and pictorial introduction to the many elements of literacy, combined with interdisciplinary enrichment. This is carried out through topic work, in the day-to-day lessons and open classroom opportunities. Our experience shows how important stories are to the child’s understanding of literacy and of culture, and of the value of combining art with language.
Children are offered opportunities to write from early on. They write their own stories, lists, diaries and often form their own writing topics. They are provided with spelling log books and encouraged to make their own attempts at new words. During creative writing, spelling isn’t emphasised, but is augmented in separate lessons, during subsequent drafts, and in other areas of learning.
Davis Learning Strategies
The scheme of working with modelling-clay to concretely connect students to the symbolic meanings of literacy and numeracy developed by Ron Davis and explained in The Gift of Dyslexia and The Gift of Learning has inspired us. We utilise DLS in the classrooms as an introduction to literacy, punctuation, and reading and to understanding the true meaning of words and concepts. This approach not only helps visual and kinaesthetic thinkers get to grips with these symbols of communication, but also gives everyone tools to help stay focused, relaxed and present and to understand our language more completely. The process of mastery, which is emphasised in all aspects of the scheme, supports true understanding rather than memorisation or rote study, and thus facilitates deep learning.