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Tall Tales and Short Stories

04 November 2015  |  Jill Lundberg  |  Posted in:

Tall tales and short stories have helped give schoolchildren an insight into the challenges faced by people with dyslexia. Pupils from primary schools across North Yorkshire spent an afternoon at Richmond School and Sixth Form College listening to storyteller Taffy Thomas as part of Dyslexia Awareness Week. The storytelling workshop, which saw more than 150 children take part from Melsonby Methodist School, Ravensworth C of E School, Barton Primary School, Richmond Methodist School, Richmond St Mary’s School and Richmond C of E School, was organised by Dyslexia Network Plus. Jennifer Williamson, who helps to run the local support group, said: “Storytelling is a great way to help people who may find it more difficult than others with formal literacy learning. “The children have thoroughly enjoyed listening to Taffy, joining in with his stories and learning that not all people find it easy to read and write – but as Taffy said you don’t have to be a great writer to be a great storyteller.” It’s estimated that ten per cent of people in the UK have some degree of dyslexia, a common specific learning difficulty that can cause problems with reading, writing and spelling. Famous people who have been diagnosed as being dyslexic include Albert Einstein, Apple founder Steve Jobs, Sir Richard Branson, Leonardo da Vinci, Sir Isaac Newton, Roald Dahl, local artist Mackenzie Thorpe and TV chef Jamie Oliver. “People with dyslexia are often very good at thinking in different ways,” said Mrs Williamson. “Just because they find it difficult to read and write doesn’t make then stupid it’s just that their brains work in a different way – it has nothing to do with intelligence. “At Dyslexia Network Plus we help to support people with dyslexia and their families and we are extremely grateful to Richmond School and Sixth Form College for assisting us in helping to increase awareness to young people in the area.” Teacher in charge of specific learning difficulties outreach at Richmond School and Sixth Form College Kath Lawson added: “Our school is an enhanced mainstream school specialising in specific learning difficulties where we aim to ensure that all pupils, of all abilities, achieve their full potential with an inclusive approach to learning. “Through training and support for individual students our staff, and those in our 43 outreach schools, have a developing awareness of the classroom strategies that can be implemented to help students who have been identified as having dyslexia and the varied and different ways to support them in their learning. We have a fantastic relationship with Dyslexia Network Plus who help us to support students and parents and it is wonderful that we have been able to help support them to raise more awareness about Dyslexia.” 

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