Dyslexia Support at St Hilary School

St Hilary School prides itself on being an Inclusive school, in which we try our utmost to meet all children’s individual needs.

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a learning difference that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling. Dyslexia can also be linked with difficulties with short-term memory, mathematical ability, personal organisation, motor co-ordination and the ability to be able to put things in order.

Dyslexia is caused by differences in the language areas of the brain. This affects how information is acquired, processed and understood.

With the right support, students can be helped to cope with their dyslexia; they can learn to overcome this specific learning difference and stop it from being a barrier to their achievement.

Current Definition of Dyslexia:

“Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling. Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed. Dyslexia occurs across a wide range of intellectual abilities. It is best thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category, as there are no clear cut off point.

(Sir Jim Rose, 2009)

Inclusion Dyslexia Friendly Schools Status

In June 2022, we achieved our Inclusion and Dyslexia Friendly Schools Plus (IDFS+) reaccreditation. for this an independent assessor from the local authority’s Cognition and Learning Service, accompanied by a member of the Cornwall Dyslexia Association visited our school and checked our school follows a stringent set of criteria that IDFS schools need to follow. The assessment involved a learning walk around the school’s classrooms and assessing the environment and support in place for all our pupils. It also involved talking to parents, pupils and governors about our school.

The IDFS quality mark is something we have been proud to achieve for the last 18+ years as what it represents is central to our school ethos. It recognises that all pupils are different and that our school is a dyslexia and inclusion friendly environment – something which all pupils benefit from in their learning.

What the accreditors said about our school:

  • St Hilary School has overwhelmingly established a positive, inclusive ethos throughout the school. 
  • Learning environments were calm and purposeful throughout.
  • It was a privilege to be able to spend time with such knowledgeable, compassionate and empathic children. Inclusion was at the very heart of all they shared. For example, they understood individual needs and were able to name several e.g., dyspraxia, autism and dyslexia.
  • Staff have worked extremely hard to create a sense of community. This was evident during the visit. All pupils are highly valued, and their needs come first.
  • Parental engagement is highly valued, and this has had a significant impact upon the school. Parent/school relations are strong.
  • Mr Hamshar is an inspirational and motivational leader who has the respect of his staff.
  • The assessors noted a wide range of inclusive strategies being used across the school.
Please find the full report attached below.

Therefore achieving the IDFS Quality Mark again proves we met the criteria and we are up to date with inclusive school practice, demonstrating that:

  • all staff are proactive in implementing and promoting inclusive dyslexia friendly practice;

  • all teaching support staff have undergone dyslexia friendly training and any new staff have a inclusive induction programme;

  • parents and governors are involved in the development of IDFS and have the opportunity to participate in parent forum meetings;

  • whole school assessment systems are used to identify and monitor pupils with dyslexia;

  • identified pupils are individually assessed and the outcomes are used to inform provision;

  • individual or small group provision is available where appropriate;

  • teachers use appropriate multi-sensory teaching styles and pupils learn in a multi-sensory way and are given the choice of recording methods;

  • pupils with dyslexia are supported pastorally as well as academically;


Please also see attached the British Dyslexia Associations (BDA) parental guide.

Useful websites :

British Dyslexia Association - www.bdadyslexia.org.uk

Cornwall Dyslexia Association - www.dyslexiacornwall.org.uk