At CodeBreakers we are extremely proud to announce our new working relationship with schools. A year long pilot study of CodeBreakers dyslexia programme, will now take place, to evidence the effectiveness in schools.
A number of schools have signed up to participate in a year long dyslexia intervention programme, using CodeBreakers. The aim is to evaluate the effectiveness of a systematic, synthetic phonics programme, using multi-sensory techniques and report the findings.
Each school has selected a number of students who will receive an hour of 1:1 intervention, over the course of the week, using CodeBreakers. Not all of the selected students will have a dyslexia diagnosis, some may be struggling with literacy development.
The schools participating have also selected members of staff, both TAs and teachers, who will receive training on the delivery of the CodeBreakers programme. It has long been identified that students require specialist dyslexia tuition which not all schools are able to access. CodeBreakers provides the techniques and skills based on several years best practice working as a dyslexia assessor and tutor, with the view that front line staff, such as TAs have a major support role for students with dyslexia. The programme is designed to inform the ‘tutor’ of the pure sound, rules for spelling patterns and where required, word morphology and etymology. It provides instruction on how to deliver the workbooks to make the most of multi-sensory opportunities. Whilst there are many synthetic phonics programmes, CodeBreakers gives ample opportunity to over learn in many ways, including literacy games. It’s also identified that at times, multi-sensory techniques can be diluted and reduce the effectiveness of a programme. Therefore an instructor’s manual explains the importance of delivering the techniques and prepared lesson plans provide prompts to ensure they are provided. However, we recognise the skills and expertise of teaching staff and encourage the use of additional techniques and responses during the student’s intervention sessions.
The students will start the programme in September 2018 and continue through to June 2019, with a second phase of schools joining the study in October, to provide multiple baseline assessments. Student will be from primary, junior/middle and secondary school settings. Students will receive baseline assessments using standardised scores and criterion based tests for reading and spelling, this will be repeated mid study and at the end of the study to track progress.
We recognise that not all students may progress at the same rate and from experience, often this is due to language development, among other overlapping difficulties. As a result, we have included a baseline language assessment (Blank Levels) to establish the student’s language processing skills. We are extremely pleased to have on board the very well regarded speech and language consultant, Libby Hill of Small Talk Speech and Language Therapy who will evaluate each student’s language processing skills.
As a child progresses through the programme, we also identify the ‘soft skills’ develop, moreover at CodeBreakers we observe a student’s confidence blooms, often they experience less anxiety about learning and ability to tackle learning more independently. As parents and teachers will know, this is something that can influence the progress of a student. We consider it will be interesting to evidence the student’s personal growth and we’ll be using the Learning Power Questionnaire to help demonstrate this, alongside the student and teacher’s anecdotal evidence.
The final evaluation will be overseen by Dr Ian Millward, Educational Psychologist for Newcastle and Moorlands EPS, who will assist in the measurement of student progress and compilation of the findings. Dr Millward will also be conducting the Learning Power Questionnaires with some students.
The pilot study is a tremendous opportunity for all involved, non more so than the students who will receive 1:1 dyslexia support within their school setting. The staff involved will add to their knowledge of dyslexia and effective intervention strategies.
If you’d like to know more about the study, please keep in touch by signing up to our newsletter. If you’d like your school to be involved please email directly.