Dysart School is a symbolic, word and language rich environment which aims to foster a love of reading for all. The teaching of Reading is a vital skill for everyone and is the gateway to all learning.

At Dysart School we are experts in supporting the early skills required to read. We advocate that the development of reading is crucial to our pupil’s success across their education as well as having the skills to navigate the wider world.   We aim to foster a love of reading by providing pupils with daily opportunity to develop the tools required for reading in order to work towards the skills required to decode words and engage with high quality texts.
The school has a book and toy library that is filled with a breath of materials to support skills for pre-reading and reading and can be accessed by all class groups across the week.

Why we teach reading

By immersing the students within a symbolic and word rich environment we aim to enable them to develop into functional and fluent readers.
At Dysart School our aim is for all students to develop a love of Literacy and to be able to communicate clearly and confidently to the best of their ability. Our core aim is to teach pupils the tools to achieve functional Literacy skills in order to access the wider world with confidence and independence.
We aim to ensure reading and the skills required to read is embedded widely across the Rainbow Curriculum and throughout a learner’s day.
At Dysart School phonics is taught in regular sessions via the Read Write Ink programme s. Phonics summative assessments are conducted for all pupils on our semi-formal and formal curricula pathway. Students work either 1:1 or in small groups to ensure that learning is pitched to the appropriately. Dysart teachers are skilled at adapting the Read Write Ink programme to ensure that learning is bespoke and engaging for our pupils, allowing pupils to progress and make the steps towards becoming confident readers.

How we teach reading

  • Throughout the school Literacy is taught daily. English lessons and focussed activities provide a range of opportunities to develop reading, writing and speaking and listening skills for different purposes.
  • Pre-reading skills are at the core of all pupils learning. We lay the foundations for joint attention through specialist teaching strategies such as; Intensive interaction and Attention Autism.
  • We recognise that there are many ways in which our pupils learn to read and our aim is to support pupils in the way that best suits their needs to ensure development in both word reading and language comprehension.
  • We draw on a variety of teaching techniques to develop a love for reading and confident, independent readers such as: whole word approach, Read Write Inc, Lis n tell, colourful semantics
  • We develop pupil’s skills in sound discrimination and auditory/ picture understanding throughout a student’s day using symbols, audio cues and methods from TEACHH to give pupils the opportunity to access their school day.
  • Phonics lessons using Read Write Inc programme are taught across the school. The aim of the sessions is to ensure that pupils can attach sounds to letters. This is a systematic synthetic approach to teaching phonics in order to support pupils to decode and blend words
  • We recognise that many pupils with SEND benefit from accessing a variety of approaches in order to enhance and embed their learning and understanding.  We achieve this through providing a reading rich environment alongside highly personalised programmes drawing on a number of pre-reading strategies as well as the Read Write Inc. programme to ensure that learning takes place in a fun, engaging way in order to ensure we meet the learning styles of all our pupils. For example, pupils are given opportunities to play games with sounds, listen to sounds, as well as use a variety of visual support materials and IT based provision, opportunities are embedded throughout the day to support an understanding of meaning and connections within their learning.
  • This practise is built on further across the school as pupils explore more complex letter patterns, prefixes and suffixes through daily literacy lessons.
  • This approach is supported by weaving aspects of ‘Lis n Tell ’from Attention Autism to promote active learning.
  • Teachers use a range of published reading schemes to structure the development of pupils reading skills and are colour coded in levels with different styles of books, fiction and non- fiction in each level. These levels and books match to the current letters and sounds that our being taught in the classroom.
  • Members of staff will share high quality texts on a daily basis to encourage pupils to read for enjoyment and foster a love of reading.