It’s been a long time since I’ve written an article, as I’ve been busy preparing the training for all the schools joining CodeBreakers  pilot study in schools, 2019-2020. It’s Dyslexia Awareness week. This year’s Dyslexia Awareness Week (7-13th October) theme is focusing on schools and businesses empowering people with Dyslexia.

Dyslexia and literacy difficulties in school

There are many schools in the UK which are extremely resourceful, well informed and they are supporting individuals. I now have the pleasure of seeing first hand how schools are embracing CodeBreakers, a systematic synthetic phonics programme with multi-sensory techniques. I have seen the hurdles which schools face, to enable them to be able to implement intervention programmes. It’s clear there are many schools identifying a need and are passionate about providing intervention for students.

Last year’s study of 1:1 intervention gained excellent results. I’m currently writing an article with Educational Psychologist Dr Ian Millward on the findings and hope to publish this in professional journals later in the year.

However, it is clear that without funding, schools don’t have the luxury of being able to provide 1:1 interventions. Therefore, the 2nd year of the pilot study is now focusing on small group intervention. The programme will run for an academic year, completing in July 2020.

If your school would like to know more about CodeBreakers, please contact me here, for a personal demonstration. As part of DAW, I’m offering 15% discount on orders from schools and employers.  If you are a home educator or want to support your child or partner with our Home Edition, you can also receive 15% discount – Just quote DAW19/15% with your order placed in October.

View our shop here.  

New for 2019.  

You can now buy CodeBreakers School Edition as an individual series, rather than the whole 6 series.

Choose from series 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 here 

It’s not necessary to be trained to use CodeBreakers but if you’d like to make the most of the programme in your school we’ve now devised a training programme, you can read more about it here.

Dyslexia and literacy difficulties in the workplace

The BDA make a fantastic point that individuals with Dyslexia often have a unique set of skills, which as adults in employment can often be of great benefit. Yet we still have adults who are reluctant to disclose to employers that they have literacy difficulties. They feel employers might value them less or they might not get promotion. Many have hidden their literacy difficulties for years, some since leaving school and it can he hard work and tiring to constantly put strategies in place to ensure work is completed.

Many employers and employees are not aware of Access to Work which can support individuals with Dyslexia. This can be a fund from the DWP, to buy hardware and software to help support literacy needs in the workplace.  It can also provide training to employers to help raise awareness of Dyslexia.

Personally, during Dyslexia Awareness Week, I’d love to see adults in employment going back to school to tell students that Dyslexia doesn’t need to be a barrier to gaining an education and employment.  To see demonstrations from some of the fantastic entrepreneurs and demonstrate the skills that individuals have and ways they have developed their own businesses. What will your school being doing this year to raise awareness?

Long-term, I’d welcome a culture where employers are more aware of literacy difficulties and Dyslexia. Where government can fund adult literacy sessions for those leaving school and those who still have a life-long ambition to be able to read and write, just for their own satisfaction.

Recently, I spoke to a man who has campaigned for Skills for Life and a mature learner himself. He’s spent many years hiding his literacy difficulties until he decided to speak out.  He commented that although a college provided some adult literacy support for him and his work colleagues, it was found to be inconsistent and as a result the numbers in the class started to dwindle. This can make it difficult to then fund classes.  However, he felt that course or support needed to go back to basics to help adult learners and for learners and tutors to work in partnership.

I’ve taught many adult learners and I consider that it’s about having a mutual respect for each other. I feel tutor and learner are on an equal footing and there are things we can learn from each other.  I’ve learned many things from my students, we’ve often discussed their type of work and shared advice.  It’s the relationship which is built that allows trust to develop.  When a learner feels comfortable in the learning environment, it’s then that they can start to learn.  Anxiety stops people learning, it affects the working memory and our ability to process information.  Adult learners who have had a negative experience of education and spent years putting strategies in place to not have their literacy struggles revealed, are naturally going to feel anxious.

I was over the moon when one of my mature learners said they felt ‘safe’. Safe to go outside their comfort zone and try something new, knowing that it was O.K. to make a mistake. It’s one of the best compliments I’ve had about my work.