Russell is a Year 10 student who was diagnosed with dyslexia in Year 5. In the past, Russell has had extensive private tutoring at different points in his education. While his ability to spell and his reading fluency and accuracy have improved, he still has difficulty with these skills, particularly when there are large volumes of text, he is expected to work under time pressure, or when having to remember a large number of steps/instructions in an activity.
Russell’s school is aware that although he has difficulties in specific areas of literacy and organisation, he is very capable in other areas. The school aims to provide a variety of adjustments for Russell that focus on access to promote his learning, rather than reducing the academic standards and expectations.
These adjustments include:
- the use of assistive technology including screen readers and word prediction software
- assessing content, not spelling errors, where the task is not a specific spelling task
- allowing examination questions to be read to Russell and providing extra exam time in a separate room to reduce distractions
- providing practice exam questions that demonstrate the format of questions
- allowing for alternative presentation of exams, such as less information on a page or split exam papers to reduce fatigue
- considering Russell’s academic load and ensuring he is given assignments in advance, and assistance to time plan
- where appropriate, allowing alternative assignment formats (eg recorded oral reports, allowing dot points in writing)
- providing scaffolding to ensure that Russell is able to demonstrate knowledge, skills and understanding
- providing explicit teaching of essay-writing formats and providing examples of well-structured essays to the students.
While Russell still finds literacy tasks a struggle, he is currently keeping up with the curriculum requirements expected of a Year 10 student.