Thorntree, a Dyslexia Friendly School
Thorntree gained Dylsexia Friendly Status in November 2011. This was renewed in October 2015 after rigorous assessment from STEPS, which confirmed that we are able to identify and respond to the difficulties that a pupil with dyslexia may encounter and we ensure that their needs are met.
We are committed to being a dyslexia friendly school. The school celebrates all children’s strengths and encourages an ethos where children are accepting of each other’s differences.
We recognise that it is the responsibility of every teacher and LSA within the school to remove barriers to learning and make learning accessible to all. Every child has an entitlement to have their needs met though Quality First Teaching and appropriate differentiation. We work together to give every child the best possible opportunity to learn and we value the various and different strengths that are demonstrated by each and every pupil.
Classrooms have dyslexia friendly resources and displays and children are encouraged to recognise their preferred learning styles.
We recognise dyslexia as a specific learning difference and we respond to it as a continuum of learning styles and preference. We seek to identify the most advantageous way in which a child with dyslexia learns and we teach them in that manner. Quality first teaching is based on building the strengths of each child, supporting areas of weakness and enabling every child to reach their full potential.
What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a difference in the way a brain works. People with dyslexia have strengths other than in literacy. They may be very creative or artistic, have good problem solving abilities or be good engineers or scientists. Dyslexia does not 'go away', but strategies can be successfully learnt to overcome the difficulties it causes.
Definition of dyslexia from the Dyslexia SpLD (Specific Learning Difficulty) Trust
Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty that affects auditory memory and processing speed which impacts on literacy development, mathematics, memory, organisation and sequencing skills to varying degrees. Dyslexia can occur at any level of intellectual development. It is neurological in origin and is seen to run in families. It affects up to 10% of the UK population at some level and can affect anyone of any age and background. (Dyslexia SpLD-Trust March 2015)
Dyslexia can cause unexpected difficulties in acquiring certain skills in one or more of the following areas:
- Sometimes numeracy or spoken language.
Similarly, there are accompanying weaknesses which may be identified in the following areas:
- Speed of processing
- Short term memory
- Auditory and/or visual perception
- Motor skills.
We encourage multi-sensory teaching and learning, providing children with opportunities to learn through a good balance of visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learning styles (more information on these learning styles appears below). We promote a positive acceptance of difference, confidence to take risks make mistakes and learn from them, and a good working partnership between pupils and adults.
We recognise achievement and success in all aspects of learning including sport, music, art, dance and many other areas.
Multi sensory learning recognises that individual pupils have preferred individual learning styles:
visual, auditory or kinaesthetic.
Visual - Looking at charts or pictures
Auditory – listening to rhymes, songs or music
Kinaesthetic – ‘doing’, making things to learn how they work.
Please click on the links below for more detailed information.
How can you help?
- Daily reading – read to your child, let them read to you, share the reading, most importantly make it an enjoyable experience.
- Play games to support them with spelling and reading - see the spelling tips sheet for advice.
- Timetable any homework so that it is in small manageable chunks. Remember Dyslexic children have had to work harder than their peers and they may need a break before starting their homework.
- Encourage your child to discuss their ideas and make a plan together before they start any written work.
- Encourage your child to present projects to highlight their own personal strengths, be that through art or the computer.
Below you will find links with suggestions of ways you can help your child in their reading, writing and learning spelling as well as how to introduce a new book to your child to read together.
For further information and sources of support please click on any of the links below.
Dyslexia Association of Bexley, Bromley Greenwich and Lewisham.
Local support group with coffee mornings and information evenings for parents and professionals.
The British Dyslexia Association (BDA)
A national organisation offering a wide range of information for dyslexic children and adults.,
Information about dyslexia services and local support groups.
The Helen Arkell Centre