Teaching reading at Queensmill School. How we ensure that our pre reading / reading curriculum is motivating and accessible to children with ASDs, and helps them to make continuous progress. Teaching reading at Queensmill School.
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How we ensure that our pre reading / reading curriculum is motivating and accessible to children with ASDs, and helps them to make continuous progress.
At Queensmill School we understand the dyad of behaviours as outlined in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual version V (May 2013), (see appendix 1), and we additionally understand how these deficits pertain individually to every one of our students.
We also know that along with deficits in understanding and interpreting communication, our students are likely also to suffer a range of processing difficulties. We therefore aim, with the help of our low arousal environment and the use of Sensory Integration Approaches (SIA) used continuously throughout the school day, to keep each student at a calm-alert state in which they are capable of learning.
Sensory profiles, written by our in-house Occupational Therapists, are available for each student, giving a range of strategies to be employed by class staff and therapists to ensure that the students are at this optimal level for learning. All staff are trained to recognise signs of hyper or hypo-sensitivity to certain stimuli and have the skills to deliver SIA throughout the school.
We know from research that children with autism have difficulty separating speech sounds from non-speech sounds which can be compounded if the environment is noisy. We also know that children with autism appear to focus on individual words rather than the meaning of a collection of words in a whole sentence. Our SIA approaches are used in tandem with all learning, so that students feel calm enough to engage with the tasks presented to them.
Class teams working with Speech and Language Therapists (SaLTs)
Class teams working with SaLTs (cont’d)
For pupils with learning difficulties, reading may be interpreted as any activity that leads to the derivation of meanings from visual or tactile representations, for example, objects, pictures, symbols or written words.They may be accessed visually, aurally or through touch, for example, looking at objects, pictures, symbols or words, feeling objects of reference, looking and listening to CD-ROMs or computer programs, listening to an adult reading aloud or an audio recording.Reading strategiesPupils may be taught a range of strategies to enjoy, to access and to understand different types of symbolic representations, for example, objects of reference, pictures, symbols and text or combinations of these.
At Queensmill we use a multi-sensory approach to teaching reading, tailored to the individual student’s interests and strengths. We identify how the student learns and individualize and personalize the curriculum and our teaching for each student. We do all of this within a low-arousal environment.
We use the QCA framework for recognising attainment at P levels 1 – 3.
At P level 4:“Pupils listen & respond to familiar rhymes and stories. They show understanding of how books work, e.g. turning pages & holding book right way up.”
Concept of print
Interactive noisy books
Songs & stories on
At P level 5:“Pupils select a few words, symbols or pictures with which they are particularly familiar and derive some meaning from text, symbols or pictures presented in a way familiar to them.They match objects to pictures & symbols e.g. choosing between 2 symbols to select a drink.”
Familiar activities and routines
PECS Phase 111(a)& (b)
Chooses between 2 preferences
What’s in the box?
At P level 5:Whole word recognition is taught, supported with symbols where appropriate. Pre–reading skills include sharing a Big Book with a group or whole class. The Big Books are mainly topic linked. The books are supported with story sacks giving students opportunities to interact with the story and also a means of demonstrating understanding of the story.
Matching objects to pictures
Sharing big books
At P level 6:“Pupils select and recognise or read a small number of words or symbols linked to a familiar vocabulary e.g. name, people, objects or actions. They match letters and words.”
At P Level 7: “Pupils show an interesting in the activity of reading. They predict elements of a narrative, for example when the adult stops reading the pupil fillw in the missing word. They understand the conventions of reading, for example by following text from left to right, top to bottom and page following page.”
We make picture books about each child that they can then read with an adult.
“I can jump” “I am cooking” - supported with photographs of them in action to make it more motivating and meaningful.
At P level 7: “They know their name is made up of letters.”Early phonics is mainly based on recognizing letters and linking them to the letters in their names or words that have meaning for the students.
Transport alphabet book
These activities and many more are referred to in the Scheme of Work (NB: Schemes of Work show what needs to be taught in each subject area at each learning level.)
P8 – National Curriculum (NC) Level 1: Beginning reading. Beginning to understand that text = words, phrases, sentences, stories, and that all have meaning. “They can listen and respond to questions and can understand that words, symbols and pictures convey meaning.”
Daily schedules showing progression of reading difficulty from photos to symbols to words with symbols. After having mastered these, students will move on to a schedule that looks like a tick-sheet with only words on it.
Reading for meaning – instruction pictures and words
English – STRAND 8 –( Engaging with and responding to texts)
Distinguish fiction and non-fiction texts and the different purposes for reading them. Follow a set of 3 picture/symbol instructions/signs. (P7 )
Continuous focus on reading for meaning and including:
The child or young person must meet criteria in all sections.
+ Symptoms must be present in early childhood, but may not become fully manifest until social demands exceed limited capacities.
+ Symptoms together limit and impair everyday functioning.