Before joining Lakeside, students may have fallen behind in reading and spelling. This may have been the result of learning difficulties or absence from school. Lakeside’s objectives are to raise students’ levels of literacy to the best of their abilities, to fit them for the world of work and for life.
Lakeside has a Specialist teacher, who assesses all students on arrival. Lakeside works on a “dyslexia friendly” basis, with staff being regularly updated by this teacher on students’ literacy levels, together with resources and strategies to support these students.
Students who are identified as in particular need are offered sessions with the Specialist teacher and with an LSA working alongside this teacher. Each of these students has an Individual Literacy Education Plan. This identifies next steps in learning, and from here weekly learning targets are set. Students may have developed low self -esteem with regard to reading and spelling, and to overcome this, Lakeside has a variety of computer programmes, educational games and writing and spelling programmes. Each teaching session aims to be tailor made for each student. A visiting Speech Therapist also works with identified students, and this further supports individual planning.
Lakeside teachers know that students are most involved with learning when they are interested. Lakeside has visits from Pantomime artists, birds of prey and a variety of animals throughout the year. These visits are popular with students, and can encourage a whole new range of talking and writing.
When students are approaching GCSE exams, those who may still have literacy difficulties are again assessed. Application is then made to the GCSE board for the use of adult readers, writers and extra time during certain exams. This can make a huge difference to grades of students who have knowledge but little confidence to record this knowledge during an exam.
Students at Lakeside have a wide range of abilities, with some students having reading levels equivalent to those of adults. Our library contains books for all levels, with Hampshire Library service visiting regularly to renew the stock of books.