Lady Manners School has been awarded the Dyslexia Friendly Quality Mark by the British Dyslexia Association.
The accreditation is rare in mainstream secondary schools with Lady Manners School joining only a handful of UK secondary schools in this achievement. It has involved two years of work led by the school’s Learning Support Department, and embraced by teaching and support staff in the school.
Some of the changes at the school are very visible: all paperwork is now printed on cream paper and staff take care to create displays and presentations which are easy for all to read. In addition, a full range of resources have been introduced designed to make learning easier for all, from special ‘reader pens’, which convert text to audible words to the use of laptops and from coloured overlays being available to all who need them, to the significant stock of dyslexia friendly printed books and e-readers in the library.
The whole school has actively taken on the challenge with staff training days including input from visiting dyslexia experts and working groups being set up to enable staff to identify ways to improve access to learning. All departments within the school have joined a campaign which has highlighted celebrities who have overcome the challenges of dyslexia. This has been particularly useful in helping students realise that dyslexia has not prevented great successes for many people.
The British Dyslexia Association assessor was impressed at the extent to which all staff had embraced the desire to improve learning for all of the school’s students. The positive feedback from students themselves formed a valuable part of the assessment, with students taking a role in making suggestions for new ways in which the school can continue to improve their dyslexia friendly provision.
Throughout the process the school has engaged with parents to help them understand the school’s approach and to help them to support their children more effectively at home. The school plans to continue with this engagement as it looks to the future with yet more improvements to come.
Mr Askew, Assistant Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) said: “We are delighted to have achieved this accreditation. Not only are we finding that it is improving the approach to learning for those students with dyslexia, but all of our students are benefitting from clearer, more accessible resources. Additionally, the feeling of inclusion in the school is reaching beyond dyslexia to other challenges faced by many people in their education and lives. We have lots of ideas for further improvements and are looking forward to putting them into effect.”
Read more about how Lady Manners School supports students with dyslexia here.