A group of Primary students from The British School of Barcelona have participated in the writing of “Lyla, Louis and the Magic Lift”, a unique book aimed at 10 and 11-year-olds, along with hundreds of students from 50 Cognita schools worldwide.
This is the second year that Cognita has run the grassroots “Share A Story Around the World“ project, a terrific example of cross-cultural cooperation with each school taking on a chapter before passing it on to the next team in other countries and continents. This year BSB has led the creative writing element of the project and started it off with the first chapter. According to Joe Woodhouse, coordinator of this edition and teacher at BSB Sitges, “We set the children a specific challenge this year; to write a story with ‘wellbeing’ at its heart. We wanted the main characters to have physical or cognitive differences which can often be seen as obstacles, and then radically change readers’ perceptions by making these differences the superpowers that helped the characters overcome the problems they faced.” Dyslexia has been the learning difference chosen by the students.
Dyslexia, Wellbeing and Learning Support
This choice making was not accidental. It endorses the global commitment of the Cognita educational group to the importance of the physical and emotional wellbeing of the students and the attention that BSB dedicates to individualised support to the student at all levels. Our staff includes a multidisciplinary team that offers personalised attention to students who learn at different paces or respond to specific learning needs. The objective of this programme is to provide tools that facilitate reading, writing or perception of order and sequence, among others, and be able to enhance its advantages.
Coinciding with the worldwide launch of the book on 5th March, BSB organised awareness workshops on dyslexia for parents and students in order to highlight the strengths that dyslexia can provide, such as spatial and visual thinking, creativity and imagination, innovation or critical thinking, all beneficial skills in careers such as architecture, engineering, communication and all those related to art. In this sense, Carol Coleman, Director of Student Services of BSB, explains that “We wanted to share what we see in the day to day of the school with students and parents, mainly that our students with dyslexia show traits that make them unique and this is where their “superpower” lies. It has been an incredibly positive experience to see how these students felt empowered as they became aware of their special abilities and shared experiences with their peers. As a result they decided to record a video to explain the way they access, present and process information, skills and concepts, and share it with the rest of the teachers and students of the school. It was also an opportunity for families to share the strategies they use at home and ask questions to other parents and the specialist staff from the school.”
About the book
The book, “Lyla, Louis and the Magic Lift”, is available to download for free (find links below) both in English (original language) and in the Spanish translated version. Both the translation and the illustrations have been carried out by students of Cognita schools. The team also had expert illustration advice from award-winning illustrator and author, Karin Littlewood.
Watch the video recorded by the BSB Sitges students and discover the story behind this inspiring project:
Lyla, Louis and the Magic Lift – English version
Lyla, Louis y el Ascensor Mágico – Spanish version