Batchwood secure a certificate to address Dyslexia

We were delighted to award Batchwood School an award to help fund a staff member to take a Postgraduate Certificate in Specialist Assessment for a Specific Learning Difficulty: Dyslexia, at Canterbury Christ Church University.

We love to support effective and quickly applied staff training as the benefits to pupils last for an entire career and some/all of the training can often be passed on to other staff.  Katharine Lane (Teaching Assistant/Interventions Provider) explained that all Batchwood students have SEND and consequently, a very large percentage join them with low prior attainment…

“With the aim of accelerating progress, and reducing the ‘learning gap’, a multi-faceted new literacy strategy has been developed…

A new staff member has been employed to draft and deliver most of this intervention work, with the planned introduction of a paired reading scheme, oral language interventions, synthetics phonics-based schemes of work, and handwriting development. In 2019-20, less than a dozen pupils benefitted from consistent intervention work, but the intention is that from September a minimum of 45% of students will receive targeted support beyond the English classroom.”

Katharine argued that by studying for the Post-graduate certificate, this member of staff…

“…will be better equipped to lead and inspire whole school adjustments to remove potential barriers to learning, creating a literacy-prioritizing educational atmosphere [programme outcomes include themes such as the role of ICT and the social and emotional impact of dyslexia]. It is hoped that the formal nature of the qualification should inspire confidence from staff in departments which traditionally consider literacy beyond their remit. Hence, it will support the literacy strategy to be adopted in practice, rather than just in theory.”

It’s always essential to take a school’s particular students into account and Katharine further explained:

“…she would be able to provide both formal and informal 'in-house' diagnostic assessments of students' learning difficulties. In this sense, she will be able not only to write the reports which the exam boards require to make the exam access arrangements, but also more likely to spot literacy difficulties across the pupil body. As all Batchwood’s students have SEND, there is concern that some students are likely to suffer from dyslexia or other literacy difficulties which have gone unnoticed because of more ‘severe’ presentations of other barriers to learning e.g. anxiety or autism. Research indicates that the earlier the intervention the greater the efficacy, and the less likely for further morbidities to occur (e.g. depression).”

Finally, to well and truly tick the “committed to the project” box, Katharine told us the staff member was:

“willing to self-fund the remainder of the fees if further grant funding cannot be obtained by the school.”