When NOT to wait!? Concepts, practices and instruments for screening and intervention in reading and writing difficulties in Primary Education

Within the ERASMUS+ SMILE Project, the School Cluster of Lousã (AEL) and ARCIL have created an action plan to improve conditions for Inclusive Education. It has been defined as a priority the early identification of learning difficulties and strengths of each student, using different tools and approaches, in order to intervene timely and with evidence-based methodologies to ensure education success for all.

With the goal of improving teachers’ skills in screening reading and writing difficulties, the team has joined efforts with the Training Center of Association NOVA ÁGORA to organised and implement a training activity to explore the results of a reading and writing screening and to reflect about the strategies and materials that may be used in order improve reading and writing skills of all the students in the 2nd grade.

The suggested screening approach has been recognised as essential, allowing teachers to associate the different parameters – reading precision, reading fluency, reading comprehension, orthographic knowledge, linguistic preparedness, and psychomotor skills – in which their students may need assistance. Diverse examples of intervention strategies have been demonstrated and a folder full of ideas and examples of materials and activities has been shared with the participants. At the end of the training, the importance of carrying out these screenings procedures was stressed, so that early intervention is implemented: "It is important that this screening is done so that these children can enjoy timely intervention, meeting their needs", one of the participants in the training said.

A good start in learning how to read and write is fundamental for further learning to be successful; aiming for more inclusive schools, the team will disseminate this experience with other partners!