Blog Archive

Saturday 9 February 2019

Supporting Dyslexic Students at Mangotsfield

Maintaining the momentum of supporting our SEND students, in particular those who are double alert (SEND and PP), Mango Moments will be running a series of posts over the coming weeks to raise awareness/reinforce our understanding of key special educational needs and how we can support such students.

Mike Marsh writes:

Although there isn’t a universally agreed definition of Dyslexia the Rose report into the teaching of students with Dyslexia provide a working definition; "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 the range of intellectual abilities. It is best thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category, and there are no clear cut-off points. 

Co-occurring difficulties may be seen in aspects of language, motor co-ordination, mental calculation, concentration and personal organisation, but these are not, by themselves, markers of dyslexia.  A good indication of the severity and persistence of dyslexic difficulties can be gained by examining how the individual responds or has responded to well-founded interventions.

So what to do then?

The more we use evidence based teaching strategies such as those outlines in Rosenshine’s Principles (link here) the more effectively we will teach all students including those with Dyslexia. As we move towards use of key words lists and knowledge organisers the we are embedding dyslexia friendly teaching strategies into all of our lessons. There are some specific resources will make a difference; 
  • Visual Prompts- number lines, connectives, sentence starters.
  • Having their own copy of resources especially for text heavy PowerPoint slides. 
  • Using a clear font e.g. 12 point and Tahoma or Lucida Sans.
  • Reduce visual clutter on slides and worksheets, use a light blue/yellow background where possible. 
  • Use of ICT for longer tasks- if you know there is an essay or assessment coming up book a couple of laptops. 
  • Post it notes or whiteboards to record key spellings or the sequence of key events. 
  • Some students swear by coloured overlays, our KS3 literacy coordinator has a supply if needed.
  • Use of talking before writing to allow all students to formulate their ideas verbally before writing them down. 
  • Model active reading- looking for command words, highlighting and reading the questions before the main body of the text. 
  • Prime students that you will be asking them a question, ‘I’m coming to you in two questions time David…’ 
  • For the students who have the most difficulty writing provide flow charts or other graphic organisers as ways for them to get their ideas on paper effectively. 
Further reading:

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