Bedstone approved as a Specialist Dyslexia Unit

The Council for the Registration of Schools Teaching Dyslexic Pupils (CReSTeD) exists as a way of helping parents find schools that can meet the needs of their child’s specific learning difficulties. This term Bedstone was inspected by CReSTeD and we are delighted to have had our registration renewed. Whilst receiving formal acknowledgement for the work here is fantastic, it is most rewarding to see children excelling with the right support.

A tailor made education for every individual comes as standard at Bedstone. As a small school we take great pride in knowing every student, their strengths, struggles and interests. Whatever a student’s ability we bring out the very best in them, enabling and guiding them to go on to achieve amazing things, whether it is further study at a top University or a career of their choosing.

Learning Support at Bedstone is a key part of our teaching. Many students will need extra support during their time at Bedstone. Those students who require this benefit from Individual Education Plans (IEPs) produced by Mr Jamie Lowe, Head of Learning Support at Bedstone and winner of the SENCO of the year 2016 award at the Dyslexia awards. He ensures that all students have an IEP and that it is circulated to all staff, showing every teacher how they can individualise their teaching for the student so that they have the best possible opportunities in every lesson. These plans are always based on the individuals’ interests, targets and areas of weakness and strength. The main focus throughout is maintaining and building children’s self-esteem and confidence as a learner.

We have a collection of over 250 specialist books in the library that are dyslexia friendly. We have a range of structured cumulative, multi-sensory programmes that we use to help younger children develop phonological awareness. The children can get creative using pipe cleaners to create letters and practice their writing skills in sand. It is all about using a range of strategies to engage and focus them. With older children learning support can focus on mind mapping, study skills, revision strategies and exam technique.  Very often we use practical aids like coloured overlays or tinted lenses in glasses to assist children with visual stress often associated with dyslexia. We do assessments for a full range of exam access arrangements such as using a reader, scribe or allowing extra time.  We are experts at identifying problems and finding solutions. We see teenagers discover a love of reading for the first time, if they have the confidence and motivation unlocked.

Mr Lowe, Head of Learning Support said: “It’s really satisfying to see children become more confident, and successful learners. We have Head Boys and Head Girls who have received learning support and gone on to take on the most responsible role in school, giving speeches and working closely with the senior management team to help with the day to day running of the school.”