Teaching of Braille
Some blind children will need to learn to read and write using braille.
Braille will be taught by specialist teaching assistants, who will design a programme of learning to suit the individual needs of the child. This programme will be reinforced on a daily basis by the specialist teaching assistant who works with the child or young person.
There are two kinds of braille:
- Grade One braille – which simply uses braille cells in place of letters - that is, a sign for each letter of the alphabet.
- Grade Two braille – which in addition to the above involves learning the large number of contractions and signs that allow braille texts to be shortened.
Wherever possible, children will be taught Grade Two braille. In addition they will follow the Letters and Sounds Curriculum which requires children to be taught to read high frequency words and develop their phonics.
Children will be taught Grade One braille and will move on to Grade Two braille as they become confident and competent. Most children will actually learn through a combination of the two methods.
Children learning Grade Two braille will also have to learn regular spellings.
Alongside learning braille, children will also be taught to touchtype. This means that as they progress through school they will be increasingly able to record their work in print, which makes it instantly accessible to subject teachers for comment and marking.
Children and young people will also be introduced to technology which allows them to access the curriculum. This might be a laptop and braille display, a Braillenote or a voice recording device.