Summer Literacy Booster Classes
The bulbs that the children planted last year are in full bloom, the clocks have gone forward and we’re already thinking ahead to the warm days of summer. Well, us adults are anyway. Children have an enviable way of enjoying the ‘now’.
This week we’ve started thinking about middle of summer – to our Limespring Summer Literacy Booster. Last year’s class was a roaring success, the children loved it, so we’ve set ourselves a goal to live up to!
Our Literacy Booster is a week-long morning summer school, during the summer holidays, all about writing and reading – the fun way.
The idea is to awaken and nurture creativity in children of all learning abilities. In doing so, we support the children to improve their functional literacy skills ¬– spelling, grammar and sentence structure.
And that all sounds far too academic, for something that really is a lot of fun! What I perhaps should have said instead is that the children write stories – fiction and non-fiction – and that opens up the magical world of the imagination.
The stories that the children wrote last year still have the power to bring a smile to my face – each for its own reason. Some for the humour, some for the creativity, and some because they showed how the child had engaged with the class and demonstrated a genuine improvement over the week.
So that the children have positive experiences writing and reading, we base our Summer Literacy Booster activities upon their individual learning levels, experiences, ages and interests. It’s important for us to tailor our activity plan once we get to know a bit about the children who’ll be attending.
The class is run by specialist teaching staff, and uses multi-sensory activities to engage children with dyslexia, dyspraxia and other learning difficulties.
Sitting down to write this blog, I started to search for ‘famous authors who have dyslexia’ (there are loads – Agatha Christine, F Scott Fitzgerald, Jules Verne!) but soon thought better of it. Encouraging a child’s literacy is not about reaching an end-goal of them giving a book-signing in Waterstones, it has a much more everyday value of increasing self-expression and confidence.
The children’s author Tom McLaughlin puts this point across brilliantly. When asked by the Guardian newspaper to give some writing tips to children with dyslexia, Tom, who also has dyslexia and often struggles with words said:
“Writing is about you, they are your thoughts, the things you have to say, and those can never be wrong. Being dyslexic is who you are, and who you are is brilliant.”
And with a classroom of children, words, ideas and fun, I’m very much looking forward to another brilliant summer!
Find out more about our reading summer school by clicking here.