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Claremont Primary School – A Dyslexia Friendly School

Claremont Primary School is excited to announce that we have been awarded the BDA Dyslexia Friendly Quality Mark. This is a reflection of the excellent dyslexia friendly practices that are common classroom practices, throughout our school.

Staff understand that dyslexia is not only about reading or spelling difficulties, but that it can affect pupils’ speed of processing information, personal organisation, maths, aspects of memory and language, and can often develop with other specific learning difficulties. Self-esteem can also be affected.

Practical classroom strategies are implemented throughout to ensure that all pupils with dyslexia are able to access all aspects of the curriculum. These strategies benefit all pupils throughout the school.

Examples of dyslexia friendly strategies are:

  • Being sensitive to seating arrangements in classrooms, lighting and noise.
  • Intervention groups focusing on areas of need for each pupil.
  • Assistive technology tools are used such as IPads using Write on Line for writing, mind maps, pocket spell checkers, line readers, coloured keyboards and auditory
  • library books.
  • Accelerated reading is promoted sensitively to celebrate individual progress.
  • Use of visual aids such as coloured overlays to help with spelling and reading.
  • Specific dyslexia friendly spelling games and dyslexia friendly dictionaries are used to aid spelling and visual memory.
  • Making sure manipulatives and memory aids such as visual calendars are always
  • available for maths and organisational skills.
  • Alternative buff - coloured paper is provided where necessary and the displays on our interactive whiteboards can be altered as appropriate, incorporating dyslexia friendly fonts.
  • Learning resources are carefully labelled to encourage independence among the pupils.
  • Pupils’ strengths are always celebrated and encouraged with the opportunities to take part in extra activities such as sport, gymnastics, cycling, music, science or performance arts such as Strictly Cool Dancing and Young Voices who sing at the O2 concert.
  • Progress is monitored closely and extra time may be given in assessments.
  • Assemblies, displays and open dialogue ensures that all pupils are valued and respected by each other.

If you have any concerns about your child’s learning journey, please contact Clare Smith (SENCo):


10 Indicators of dyslexia for teachers and parents. Signs of dyslexia usually become more obvious when children start school and begin to focus on reading and writing. Here are ten of the most common warning signs.

1. Phonological awareness.This is the ability to recognise individual sounds (phonemes) and work with phonemes to create new words.
Typical problems are: Confusing vowel sounds, e.g. writing ‘i’ for ‘e’. Difficulty rhyming. Chunking words into syllables. Blending sounds into a whole word. Children with dyslexia that have been taught phonics can often learn to say the individual sounds but not blend them together. They can’t hold the sequence of sounds in their head for long enough. They might just panic and guess .

2. Typical spelling mistakes.
Spelling words as they sound e.g. wont instead of want
Mixing up the sequence of letters e.g. hlep instead of help
Reversing the sequence of letters e.g. was instead of saw
Missing out a letter e.g. wich instead of which
Using the wrong letter e.g. showt instead of shout
Adding an extra letter e.g. whent instead of went
Using a ‘t’ instead of ‘ed’ e.g. lookt instead of looked
Can’t remember when to use ‘ck’ or ‘ke’ at the end e.g. lick instead of like

3. Unable to remember times tables and number sequences. A multiplication fact may seem to be learned and then a few days later has been forgotten again.
The same goes for phone and pin numbers. Difficulty remembering a sequence of numbers can be a sign of dyslexia.

4. Writing. Someone with dyslexia is likely to have lots of ideas but have difficulty putting them into writing. They will take much longer to write and produce
less than other students. Many people with dyslexia write long, rambling
sentences with no punctuation. Although there may be lots of ideas they often do not know where to start.

5. Reading. Immediately forgetting what has just been read. Slower reading speed. Missing out words or skipping lines as they read. Often, dyslexic children read a page, and realise they have forgotten everything they have just read. Words[FC4] and their meanings don’t stick very well. Reading becomes slow when you have to work out every word. So much mental energy is used on the process that no memory capacity is left to comprehend. Dyslexia means you may read a word and then further down the page not recognise it again. There is no visual memory of the word. Their eyes can seem to jump over words, missing them out, skip out whole lines, sometimes they just skip part of a word.

6. Homophones: there – their. A homophone sounds the same as another word but is spelled differently. They can be a nightmare for those with dyslexia who often have a poor memory for how a word looks and quickly learn to rely upon the strategy of learning to spell a word by building it phonetically. This doesn’t
work for homophones.

7. Do you know the Alphabet? Backwards! Dyslexia causes difficulty recalling sequences accurately so it is likely that learning the alphabet will be problematic.
Using songs and rhyme can help but the real giveaway is whether they can say it backwards – a nearly impossible task for those with dyslexia! Dyslexia is also likely to cause problems learning the names and sounds of letters.

8. Mixing up left and right. Many children with dyslexia cannot learn to automatically remember left and right. They have to stop and think about it.

9. Can’t remember what you’ve been told. Another common sign is difficulty
carrying out a sequence of auditory instructions. “Get out your book. Turn to page 23. Read three pages.” Someone with dyslexia might only remember one of these things and have to ask again. Having to ask again can make them feel stupid.

10. Reversing numbers Someone with dyslexia might see 57 but remember it as 75 or write the answer to 6×7 as 24 instead of 42. The output of the information becomes muddled.

Ways Parents Can Help
It is important to understand that if your child is dyslexic, it does not mean success either academic or career, cannot be achieved. It is not a reflection of intelligence – in fact your child may find certain areas of learning and life easier than their classmates.

Dyslexia is different for every child, and these differences should be embraced and their individual strengths celebrated and encouraged.

Made by Dyslexia is a charity that celebrates and promotes these strengths. Please look at : for more information and support.
The British Dyslexic Association also has a range of useful resources aimed at parents and carers of dyslexic children -

What to do:

1.Find out as much as you can about dyslexia then explain it to your child.
Nessy provides a free ebook which is the perfect tool for this – read through together and learn about the different types of dyslexia, their signs, symptoms, strengths and weaknesses.
Dyslexia Explained eBook - Nessy UK -

2. Look out for signs of emotional stress. Consequences of dyslexia are frustration, anger, low self-esteem or becoming withdrawn. Before reading and spelling can be improved, your child needs to believe they can succeed. They can’t do it – yet!

3. People with dyslexia need constant praise and support to rebuild self-esteem
Whether it’s a parent, teacher or friend, it’s important to have someone who believes in you and is supportive. Help build your child’s confidence and see the
results in their new mentality towards learning. Praise even small achievements
and remember how hard they have worked to achieve any success.

4. Never compare someone with dyslexia’s school work with that of their
brother or sister or classmate. People with dyslexia are often sensitive to criticism and feel they are stupid.

5. Don’t get angry when kit is lost or homework forgotten. Failing to remember spoken and written instructions or forgetting where something has been left is a consequence of dyslexia. They often can’t help it and will feel frustrated by being unable to remember. Help them become more organised by introducing strategies or memory aids such as stickers or checklists.

6. At the beginning of each school year meet your child’s teacher. Make sure
they know about your child’s dyslexia and agree strategies to help and
reasonable targets to set.

7. Get your child assessed as early as possible. Students assessed early show the best response to reading interventions. Pupils can be screened in school and assess memory and processing skills and highlight any signs of dyslexia. It’s the good stepping stone between professional screening and intervention.

Organisation Strategies
A person with dyslexia is likely to find it difficult to organise everyday tasks.
1. Provide visual or written checklists. Set routines.
2. Color-code their home and school timetables so that lessons and chores can
be seen at a glance.
3. Pack school bags the night before and put them by the front door.
4. Establish a place where everything must be put away immediately after use.
5. Use checklists to ensure they have prepared and completed all tasks from homework to getting their chores done.

Spelling Strategies
Many schools still teach spelling using a traditional method of ‘Look, cover, write,
check’ but this does not always work for those with dyslexia.
1. Mispronounce the word the way it is spelled. For example, ‘want’ say ‘w…ant’. This is good for silent letters and for ‘Wed…nes…day’.
2. Link the word to a picture. A picture is more readily remembered and acts as a visual clue. For example, ‘first’ is often misspelled as ‘ferst’. Draw an ‘i’ winning a race and say ‘I come first’. They will remember the picture of the ‘i’ which is the part of the word which is forgotten.
3. Mnemonic. For example, to remember the word ‘does’ say “does Oliver eat
spaghetti?” The first letter of each word spells the word ‘does’. Drawing a funny picture to reinforce the strategy. Try to start the mnemonic with the word you want to remember.

Writing Strategies
A vital skill to develop before writing is learning to express ideas clearly and
simply. Read a small bit then ask them to tell you about it in as few words as
possible. Someone with dyslexia needs much more time to complete writing tasks.
1. Plan using key words. People with dyslexia need a visual plan to help structure their ideas. Before starting a writing task, make a list of ideas using only one or two words for each bullet point. When writing, each point can be expanded into a sentence. Cross it off the list as it is written.
2. Use a computer rather than writing with a pen. Request that the school accept written work produced on word processing program. This will help with speed, spelling and legibility.

Reading Strategies
1. As you read, create simple thumbnail drawings in the margin beside each point.
Many people with dyslexia focus so much effort upon the mechanics of reading that they cannot remember what they have read. When you look back the pictures will help remember what you have read.
2. Build up words by uncovering part at a time. Encourage your child to use their finger or a small card to reveal a word in chunks. Build up the word by syllable and learn to recognize prefixes and suffixes.
3. Use a coloured background. Some people with dyslexia experience a ‘glare’ when reading black text on a white background. This can make it difficult to focus and tiring to read. Try laying a sheet of coloured acetate (overlay) over the page to see if it helps.
4. After a short burst, take over the reading to provide a rest period. Discuss what you have read to make sure it is understood.

Memory Strategies
1. Picture thinking. People with dyslexia often think in pictures. Use this
strength by visualizing the thing you want to remember. When revising a topic make a page of drawings to represent the main points.
2. Give no more than two instructions at a time. e.g. put your bowl in the dishwasher then brush your teeth. To make it more memorable the dyslexic should repeat it back or visualize doing the action.
3. Reinforce learning with actions and multisensory activities. See it. Hear it. Say it. Do it.

Useful websites:
Dyslexia Explained eBook - Nessy UK –

The British Dyslexic Association also has a range of useful resources aimed at parents and carers of dyslexic children - for more information and support.

Claremont Primary School is committed to ensuring that all pupils with dyslexia are able to flourish socially and emotionally at Claremont and make the maximum amount of progress.