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
Since Sep 2017, we have been working to achieve our Inclusion and Dyslexia Friendly Schools (IDFS) reaccreditation. This will take place on the morning of Thursday 7th June, when an independent assessor from the local authority’s Cognition and Learning Service, accompanied by one or two members of the Cornwall Dyslexia Association will be visiting our school and checking our school follows a stringent set of criteria that IDFS schools need to follow. This will involve a learning walk around the school’s classrooms, assessing the environment and support in place for all our pupils. It will also involve talking to parents, pupils and governors about our school.
The IDFS quality mark is something we have been proud to achieve for the last 15+ 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 friendly environment – something which all pupils benefit from in their learning.
Therefore since September, we have been working hard to ensure the school practice is up to date and follows the criteria that the IDFS Quality Mark expects to see, including:
IDFS practice is a priority on the school improvement plan;
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 DFS induction programme;
parents and governors are involved in the development of IDFS and have the opportunity to participate in parent focus 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;
Both Michelle Brant (SENCo) and Kerenza Jelbert (English Lead) have attended a 2 day IDFS training course in January and the whole staff team attended IDFS training on 19th March 2018. This will be followed by further staff meetings and updates throughout the school year, all of which is aimed at further enhancing our current practice.
Please see the information below about St Hilary's cycle of screening for all pupils and the tests that we use for this. If at any time you, as a parent, thinks your child might have Dyslexia, please contact your child's class teacher or the school SENCo- Michelle Brant- so that screening can be arranged.
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