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Pupils’ Academic Development

When pupils join us they have fallen considerably behind their peers in other schools, both independent and maintained. This occurs despite their dyslexia having been identified and their having had regular help and support both in and out of the classroom.

Most need to improve their reading skills rapidly. All have difficulties with spelling, and many have great difficulty getting their thoughts and ideas down on paper. In addition, pupils may have poor presentation, or difficulty with comprehension and/or numeracy.

All the above will affect mastery of the rest of the curriculum. This makes progress hard to achieve in an ordinary classroom where the pace often marginalizes struggling dyslexics. They can then come to believe they are less able than others. Their self-esteem can wither and this in turn can affect their behaviour more generally.

Our experienced dyslexia specialist staff know how to help such pupils catch up with their peers and re-enter mainstream where they can go on to fulfil their unique potential. Our pupils’ progress is carefully monitored throughout their time with us and it is assessed against the objectives of the National Curriculum as well as against standardized Reading, Spelling and Maths tests. Parents are kept fully informed throughout.

Those pupils who have come to us early enough to have ‘caught up’ with their peers by the end of the Key Stage (Year 6), are entered for SATs tests. As an independent school, we are not obliged to do this, but choose to give our pupils the opportunity of demonstrating to themselves and their parents they have ‘caught up’ with their non-dyslexic peers and are ‘back on track’. Our results are comparable with the national average, and often exceed it!

It is noteworthy that recent research has shown that nearly 60% of special needs pupils will go into secondary education unable to access the curriculum adequately after 7 years at school! Parents need to take action early to give their child the best chance of success.

Finally, however, dyslexia should never just conjure up thoughts of what is found difficult. Dyslexics are fortunate in that they have many talents and abilities – gifts that cannot be taught. Our children are extremely creative and inventive – producing paintings, designs, models, stories and fully participating in the performing arts and a range of sports where they often excel!