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Dyslexia Awareness Week Banner

Dyslexia Awareness Week 2018

1st - 5th October marked Dyslexia Awareness Week 2018. This week was about raising awareness around the theme: “Dyslexic, not Dumb,” and countering the idea that learning disabilities, and Dyslexia in particular, affect intelligence.

Dyslexia remains the most common learning difficulty on the planet and affects people around the world: from Secondary students to the CEOs of major companies. It primarily affects the brain’s ability to “decode” and turn letters and phonemes into sounds and words that we understand.

Throughout the week, in their ILS lessons, students looked at how Dyslexia affects a person’s ability to read, how otherwise intelligent individuals cope with their disability and learn to find their strengths. To help spread awareness, students created posters, poems, presentations, logos and designs all to make the point that Dyslexia should not be synonymous with “dumb.”

Overall the response was excellent! Congratulations to all students on the amazing submissions and a special well done to Pucca Nguyen who was the overall winner. More than that, it was clear that all students participating had a clear sense of how people are affected by Dyslexia and that it is a difficulty but does not prevent those with the disability from being successful. In fact, many submissions highlighted the many strengths of Dyslexia, including creativity, ingenuity and outside-the-box thinking.

Dyslexia Awareness Week 2018

Then on the Friday, we held our second Decoding Challenge, where students had to read a scrambled passage of text as quickly as they could and with as few mistakes as possible. This was meant to highlight the impact difficulty with decoding can have on reading speed and accuracy, on otherwise intelligent young people.

To get an idea of the decoding challenge, visit this bookmarklet. Click the button and see the letters scramble in front of your eyes.

The students who participated had their times recorded and had a second added onto their time for each miscue (error) they would make when reading aloud. Every student that took the challenge got points for their house, and the Top 5 had their names posted on the bulletin and LCD screens around school.

Congratulations to the top 5 decoders for 2018: Alianna Maitland-Smith, Anna Phan, David Nguyen, Duc Huynh and Kevin Tran. Watch this video to see the student reactions following this year's decoding challenge:

Once again, participation by our Events Committee and the students of BIS, as a whole, defied expectations, and our booths were still running long after they were expected to close. Following their participation, many students gave their views on the event in a montage that will be released very soon. To see how our students made connections between their experience with the Decoding Challenge and the experience of people with Dyslexia was a rewarding and fitting close to the week.

Thanks again to the Events Committee for helping out with the Decoding Challenge, to Marketing and Graphics for putting together materials for us and video editing, and to the efforts of the Learning Support Team (Mrs Cullen, Mrs Laddaran and Mr Spalton) for putting this week’s activities together.

Mr Ian Young, Head of Learning Support, Secondary Campus