In 2009, Sir Jim Rose’s Report on ‘Identifying and Teaching Children and Young People with Dyslexia and Literacy Difficulties’ gave the following description of dyslexia.
‘Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling. Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed.
Dyslexia occurs across the range of intellectual abilities. It is best thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category, and there are no clear cut-off points. Co-occurring difficulties may be seen in aspects of language, motor co-ordination, mental calculation, concentration and personal organisation, but these are not, by themselves, markers of dyslexia.
Dyslexic learners may also have accompanying weaknesses in short term memory, sequencing and the speed at which they process information. These are skills that everyone needs if they are to learn effectively in a busy classroom. They are also key skills for life.
Learning problems arise if dyslexia is not recognised and the teaching is inappropriate. Our policy at RWBA is to view dyslexia as a learning difference, one which conveys a range of strengths and weaknesses in common with all learning styles and preferences. Not all students will be diagnosed with dyslexia, but many will show dyslexic traits. There is no reason why any child should not achieve their potential through determined hard work and support both from school and home.
The British Dyslexia Association has excellent support materials available on its website. www.bdadyslexia.org.uk. RWBA is a member of the Wiltshire Dyslexic Association and is working to achieve Dyslexia Friendly Schools status.
If a concern is raised, a student will be supported as appropriate for their needs with teachers using dyslexia friendly methods in their teaching to support the students’ differing learning styles. We are unable to give a diagnosis of dyslexia and would recommend that parents seek a private diagnosis if that is what they wish. To enable us to effectively use a private diagnosis for any Exam Access Arrangements the professional should be known to the school and the school should be informed in advance.