Approximately one in ten people have dyslexia. At Lady Manners School, we recognise that this presents a challenge for many of our students. Consequently we are working with the British Dyslexia Association towards being awarded the Dyslexia Friendly Schools Quality Mark.
Supporting students with dyslexia is important not only to help them to reach their full potential at school, but in equipping them with the skills and strategies to prepare them for their futures. In fact, research indicates that dyslexia friendly practice in schools is beneficial for all students.
How we support students with dyslexia
- Meet each student individually to give specific advice related to dyslexia and discuss progress and overall learning needs.
- Provide support in exams where practical e.g. extra time, electronic reader pens, laptops, scribes.
- Provide coloured overlays and cream paper handouts where appropriate.
- Each classroom has a ‘toolkit’ of resources suitable for a range of dyslexic needs.
- Lady Manners School has an inclusive approach and now uses cream paper to support all students including those with dyslexia and/or visual difficulties.
- All staff have had training on dyslexia from the Learning Support Department and the British Dyslexia Association. This training continues and is regularly updated.
- We have many strategies to improve the progress of students with dyslexia and other needs including:
- Registration and lunchtime support with homework
- Typing skills courses
- 1:1 or small group reading sessions
- Computer based literacy resources
- The Learning Support Department has laptops for students to use in class and electronic reading pens for use in class and at home.
- Where necessary we will assess students and apply to exam boards for GCSE and GCE access arrangements (exam support) for those students who meet the criteria.
- We encourage our dyslexic students to be proactive about their needs relating to dyslexia; they are always welcome to come to Learning Support to request advice and support.
Dyslexia and Year 6 to Year 7 transition
Lady Manners School has a very supportive transition process and there are plenty of opportunities for us to meet you and your child before and after they join us. Regular reading is beneficial. There are various ways to support reading including coloured overlays, paired reading, electronic books (Kindles, Kobos or similar) and audio books. Mrs Hetherington in the Lady Manners School Library is happy to advise on appropriate books and formats.
Some parents and carers worry about transition to secondary school. We work with you to make it successful. Starting at Lady Manners School is an opportunity for making new friendships and taking part in our many extra-curricular activities and lunchtime clubs. There is also the opportunity to try out subjects students may not have experienced very much at primary school such as drama, food technology, art, textiles, resistant materials, computing, music, PE, French and German. Further information is available on our 'Admissions to Lady Manners School' page.
In a typical year, we welcome new Year 7 students from 40 or more primary schools. We place great emphasis on information gathering so that we can understand our students' needs and support them effectively from the outset. We do aim to visit all new students in their primary schools and we welcome input from parents.
Strategies: for parents of children with dyslexia
- Dyslexia should not be a barrier to success and there is plenty of support in schools, colleges, universities and workplaces for people with dyslexia.
- Encourage your child to be aware of their strengths when choosing options and making career choices.
- If you think Lady Manners School is not aware of your child’s strengths or difficulties (especially at Year 6 or Year 12 transition) please contact your child's Head of Year.
- Completing homework, getting organised and making time for reading can be sources of stress between children and their parents or carers. Open discussion of this can help. The Learning Support Department can offer support - sometimes hearing advice from a different adult (or student mentor) can make a difference.
- Try to encourage regular reading. There are various ways to support reading including coloured overlays, paired reading, electronic books (Kindles, Kobos or similar) and audio books. Encourage your child to visit the school library; our school library staff are happy to advise students on appropriate books and formats.
- If your child has writing difficulties they could try typing work; it is usually fine to hand homework in typed. Phones and tablet computers should be able to download ‘speech to text’ software such as ‘Dragon Dictate’ which enables students to talk and have their work automatically typed. Some of these may be free downloads.
- Sometimes you may be able to scribe for your child. If it is homework just make a note in their exercise book to let the teacher know how the work was produced.
- We have electronic reading pens available in school for students to try out at home in case they wish to purchase their own.
- The British Dyslexia Association website is a good source of further advice.
- We also encourage students to be open with teachers about their needs so that teachers know how to help and students know how they can support themselves. Developing self-help skills is essential for later life as well as school.
Strategies: for students with dyslexia
- Think positively. Dyslexia does not need to be a barrier to success. There are plenty of successful people with dyslexia, Google ‘famous people with dyslexia’ to see some examples.
- Don’t dwell on things you find difficult, remember that you will improve and there are hobbies, interests and subjects you are good at.
- Keep in contact with Learning Support, we have lots of advice and resources you can use including:
- laptops to take to lessons
- coloured overlays
- registration time support
- electronic reading pens
- lunchtime homework club
- audio CDs
- reading advice and support
- support with exams...and much more
- It can be helpful to find out more about dyslexia, the British Dyslexia Association website is a good starting point and has links to many other resources.
- Take advantage of technology such as audio books, speech to text apps (converts your voice to typed work), electronic reading pens, typing as an alternative to handwriting, Myvle for lesson and homework resources (student school username and password required), revision videos on internet, Kobo and Kindle electronic books (Kobos are available to borrow from the school library), text to speech software that reads out typed resources.
- Negotiate with your parents or carers a way that they can support you with homework and revision.
- There are visual conditions like Irlen Lens/ Scotopic sensitivity syndrome which can occur in dyslexic and non-dyslexic people which can be helped by tinted glasses, coloured overlays or cream paper or screen backgrounds.
Does my child have dyslexia?
If you think your child may have dyslexia, you may notice the following signs. The presence of these indicators does not automatically mean that your child has dyslexia.
Please be aware that every person's experience of dyslexia is slightly different but these are some common indicators:
- Spelling difficulties.
- Reluctance to read for pleasure.
- Oral skills may be more advanced than written skills.
- Family members with similar difficulties.
- May find the writing and reading aspect of academic study increasingly difficult as they progress through GCSE/ A level courses.
- May take longer to complete homework tasks than their peers.
- May have sequencing difficulties such as:
- Left/ right
- Days/ months
- Confusion with b, d and p
- Completing tasks in order
- Telling the time
- Organising timetables and schoolbags
- May lose things or seem untidy and disorganised.
- May find some hand eye co-ordination skills difficult.
Has your child had their vision and hearing checked? Knowing they have had these checked will help with any identification and assessment process.
If you think that your child may have dyslexia, please do contact their Head of Year or our SENCo (Mrs Wilson). We can assess students for dyslexia (using GL assessment computerised dyslexia screener) when concern is expressed by a parent, carer, teacher, support staff or student. We will always consult with parents or carers before a student completes the test.