Dealing with Dyslexia at school

One child in ten has dyslexia. The majority of them are intelligent, good talkers and very creative but there are many things they find difficult. Sometimes teachers, pupils and support staff need a tool to help children talk about dyslexia in a non-confrontational way. With this in mind, ​Fink cards have just launched two new sets of conversation cards called Dealing with Dyslexia at Home and Dealing with Dyslexia at School. They are designed to help children take control of their dyslexia and become more independent learners.

Sal McKeown is a freelance journalist, regular contributor to Teach Secondary magazine, and author of the book How to Help your Dyslexic and Dyspraxic Child published by White Ladder Press. She devised the cards because she has seen many instances where home and school become a battleground. Each pack contains sets in four different colours and will encourage more positive conversations:

  • Red cards are designed to draw out opinions.
  • Green cards will pinpoint the elements of dyslexia that cause significant problems.
  • Blue cards hint at possible solutions the learner might try
  • Yellow cards let users think more creatively

Some schools are buying the Dealing with Dyslexia cards with Pupil Premium funding to develop ‘Meta-cognition and self-regulation ‘. This strand has been identified by The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) as ‘High impact for low cost, based on extensive evidence.’

According to the EEF, ‘Meta-cognition and self-regulation strategies involve learners being aware of their strengths and weaknesses, setting personal goals, monitoring and evaluating their own learning.

The researchers claim: ‘Meta-cognitive and self-regulation approaches have consistently high levels of impact with meta-analyses reporting between seven and nine months additional progress on average.’

The Dealing with Dyslexia cards can be used one to one and for small group support sessions for students who are in danger of falling behind and who need additional support.

Leicestershire Dyslexia Support tutor Charlie Pitt Miller said: ‘I love the fact that you have all the questions ready to go, to tailor-make an interview, stimulate a group discussion, provoke an argument and help with metacognition. Using carefully chosen cards I learnt more about the learning preferences of an individual child and fed this into a teaching programme. They are a great resource to have in my bag!

Elizabeth Lancaster from Newfield School in Sheffield said: ‘The Fink Dyslexia cards enabled me to have a better understanding of the problems our students face when considering what subjects to take in their final years at school, also how difficult it is to choose options for further education. I particularly liked the way the activity could be used with students of different ages for them to share ideas and opinions.’

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