Two primary schools, one in Ħal Lija and the other in Ħaż-Żebbuġ, have been awarded with the Dyslexia Friendly Award, an initiative by the Specific Learning Difficulties Services, through the Directorate of Learning Programmes and Assessment, which falls within the Ministry for Education and Employment.
Speaking at the award ceremony, Minister for Education and Employment Owen Bonnici lauded such initiatives, as they help to ensure more inclusivity within our schools from an early age. “In May 2018, the first two schools were given this award. At present, 28 schools have embarked on the Dyslexia Friendly Initiative. Schools have shown interest in the methods and principles advocated by the Specific Learning Difficulties Services, and I encourage more schools to participate in such initiatives. In fact, the service indicates that 9% of the school population between Year 4 and Year 11 are experiencing dyslexic type difficulties, and, through the introduction of a Dyslexia Friendly School, we are including an increased awareness of dyslexia and commitment to support students.”
The Heads of School of Ħal Lija and Ħaż-Żebbuġ have presented an overview of how they created awareness of dyslexia with teachers, parents and students, and have given an overview of the multisensory strategies they implemented, as well as on their experience of becoming dyslexia friendly.
The Dyslexia Friendly Schools Initiative was launched in 2015. The team in charge illustrated the required multisensory strategies for reading, spelling and study, which are essential for students with dyslexia, but also beneficial for all to the schools that showed interest. The Specific Learning Difficulties Service includes a team of 19 educators who are specialised in dyslexia and in ways of supporting students who are experiencing dyslexic-type difficulties.