THIS week (November 3-9) is National Dyslexia Awareness week and staff and pupils at Omagh County Primary School had something to celebrate as they held a special assembly to mark the event.
During assembly, the special needs co-ordinator Mrs Audrey Dempsey told pupils how dyslexia is a gift, rather than a difficulty.
She said, “Everybody’s brain is different and everyone learns differently. Those who have dyslexia think in pictures. The brain has pathways and the children who are dyslexic have different pathways from those who aren’t dyslexic.”
This creative streak means people with dyslexia are four times more likely to become a millionaire. The children were told of celebrities who have dyslexia such as; Tom Cruise, Jamie Oliver, Walt Disney, Robbie Williams, Keira Knightly and Orlando Bloom.
The aim of the assembly was to build the self-esteem of those with dyslexia and to teach children about the learning difficulty.
Recently the primary school was awarded the British Dyslexia Association (BDA) kitemark. This has been a major achievement for the school, as it the third time it has received dyslexia friendly status since 2008.
Every three years the school undergoes rigorous assessments, carried out by the BDA to check their standard of teaching amongst those with dyslexia.
Mrs Dempsey said, “Each time you are assessed you have to up your game. The extra that we had done this time included a certificate in educational testing, so I am associated with the British Psychological Society. Although we don’t diagnose children with dyslexia we can use tests to find out more to give us more information on the child.”
Furthermore, Mrs Dempsey explained what they do at the school to help those with dyslexia, ranging from labelling resources, having study buddies to using buff paper and using different colours on the whiteboard. “All of the teachers are trained in recognising the signs of dyslexia and to employ appropriate teaching methods.”
Omagh County Primary school currently teaches 22 pupils with dyslexia and work together with parents to create the best possible environment for learning.