Skip to main content

Quick Links

Information for...

GNS Offering Orton-Gillingham Summer Reading Camps for Grade 1 and 2 Students

Photo of young child reading in the sunset

GNS is excited to offer Orton-Gillingham reading camps this summer, promising a fun and transformative experience for young readers. Renowned for its personalized and systematic approach, this teaching method ensures that each child receives the tailored support they need to boost their reading, spelling and writing skills.

Aimed at students entering Grades 1 and 2 who are not yet reading at grade level, these camps offer an intensive week of focused instruction. While a week might seem short, the camp’s targeted lessons are designed to bolster foundational skills to set students up for success in the upcoming school year.

“Through its multisensory approach, children learn by hearing, touching, seeing and saying the concepts being learned,” said Ms. Caitlin Heayn, Junior School ELL Educator and camp instructor. “I received my Orton-Gillingham certification in 2020 and I did the Orton-Gillingham Classroom Educator training through the REACH Learning Centre.”

Information is presented in a structured and sequential manner, with new concepts building on prior knowledge. Instruction is personalized and progresses at the child’s pace. New concepts are not introduced until previously learned concepts have been mastered. 

Ms. Heayn explained that during the camp, each day will include a focused lesson, interactive games and small group-guided support. Parents are also provided with the knowledge and tools needed to support their child’s reading at home.

“I really love leading this camp because I enjoy working with kids of all ages, but I especially enjoy having an opportunity to give a boost to those kids who are struggling to grasp the early literacy skills, and I hope the camp can provide the framework for more complex skills,” said Ms. Heayn. 

Ms. Meghan Filgate, Grade 1 teacher at GNS, applies these learning strategies in her classroom as well, and has noticed how effective it has been. 

“You’re never getting them to do something that you haven’t taught them why it’s there, that’s the premise around it,” she said. “In learning these words, there are so many things happening at once that you just focus on one specific thing, and then you continue to review everything from before.”

Ms. Filgate explained that she has seen significant success over the past two years. This year has been especially effective because it’s the first time Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2 teachers are applying these methods, so all teachers are on the same page, and better able to build on prior learning. 

Grade 1s, for instance, have shown significant improvement because they were already familiar with the material from Kindergarten. Both grades use a similar approach, so students recognize and understand the content. They start with a review of what they learned, then move on to new concepts once there is a deep understanding. In Grade 2, students review first-grade material before progressing to new lessons. This consistent approach reinforces their learning and depth of understanding.

The Orton-Gillingham approach to teaching and reading was named after Dr. Samuel Orton and Anna Gillingham. Orton was a professor of neuropathology with a focus on language disabilities and dyslexia. He brought together neuroscientific information and principles of remediation to formulate a set of teaching principles for children with dyslexia. 

Gillingham was an educator and psychologist who worked as a research assistant for Dr. Orton, and in 1936 she published a manual for using principles of structured, sequential multisensory teaching of language based on Dr. Orton’s research. 

In this one-week half-day camp, your child entering Grade 1 or 2 will improve their reading, writing and spelling in a small group. At the end of the camp, parents will receive fun and useful tools to support literacy at home. This camp is offered twice throughout the summer, from July 8 to 12 and again from August 19 to 23.

To register for the Orton-Gillingham Reading Camps please visit: