Holme Court School a specialist provision for pupils with dyslexia and associated SpLD, Anita Lawes, Head

I would most definitely recommend Dyslexia Matters. We are a specialist school for pupils with dyslexia and associated specific learning difficulties. At our school, all staff teaching literacy, as well as those doing 1 to 1 tuition must have a specialist dyslexia teaching qualification.

Many of our staff have been trained by Dyslexia Matters. Several have completed the OCR level 5 and others are working towards or have completed the new PAPAA qualification. In so far as members of staff are concerned, the courses that they attended were well organised. The administration was effective and efficient. Course requirements were set out clearly. There was plenty of support at various levels.

Those delivering the course are very well qualified and have an outstanding knowledge of their subject. What is more important is the fact that they have relevant experience in the field and so can talk from real-life contexts etc. This ensures that they have the necessary credibility with their candidates.

Course materials provided are very clear and informative. In all aspects of the course they follow best practice in respect of optimising learning. A simple example of this is in their PowerPoint presentations. There’s nothing worse than being told that you should use a particular font style and size and then being shown an ‘all singing and dancing’ PowerPoint with lots of bright colours which is cluttered and confusing with print that is too small to read!

Another very important area in which Dyslexia Matters excels is in the way that assignments are planned and presented and most importantly in the feedback that candidates receive. Candidates are given very specific instructions with templates to help them to organise and structure their work. Expectations are made very clear. Those marking work are highly knowledgeable and again have the necessary skills, understanding and qualifications to complete this activity. They provide very clear information about what the candidate has done well and guidance is given which will enable the candidate to have a clear understanding of what s/he should do in order to develop work and improve.

While Dyslexia Matters maintains strict guidelines and expectations for the standards that they expect from candidates and will not compromise on these, the company ethos is all about enabling candidates to achieve and to succeed. The level of care and support given to candidates is second to none.

As a manager of staff who have undertaken their training with Dyslexia Matters I can only say that staff have come away with the knowledge and understanding that they need to fulfill their roles in school. I will therefore continue to use Dyslexia Matters in the future.

St Mary's CofE Academy, Colin Haley, Principal

We have worked closely with Dyslexia Matters which has helped raise the profile in the school, provided important staff training and given us a much more informed way of tackling the issues around schooling pupils with dyslexia.

First Base, Claire Hargrave, Head of Centre

In relation to Level 5 Specialist Dyslexia Teacher qualification achieved. Members of staff currently working towards the Level 7 SpLD Assessor qualification.

Expertise – course tutors are all well qualified and confident in delivering their courses. Personal tutors are accessible and helpful in supporting learning.

Training content – content is relevant and supported by high quality resources. Access to resources on the password protected website is also very helpful.

Training Delivery – 6 taught days for each of the courses helps candidates to build a support network and positive relationships with tutors as well as enabling access to “hands on” activities and resources.

Impact – our Level 5 Specialist Dyslexia Teacher has delivered CPD sessions to our staff in terms of understanding what SpLD is, identifying children with SpLD and resources to support children. This work is part of an ongoing element in our School Improvement Plan.

Impact of course on your confidence regarding specific learning difficulties (Dyslexia)

This course has provided me with an excellent understanding of SpLD, particularly dyslexia. I now understand a clear definition of dyslexia, characteristics of a dyslexic learner, how to identify dyslexic traits and how to support a dyslexic learner.

The course has been thorough and effective in allowing me to engage with and develop a detailed understanding of SpLD. I have learnt a lot and feel confident as a result of completing this course.

Completing this course has given me the confidence to teach on a 1.1 basis secure in the knowledge that I can use the methods and resources that I gained whilst doing the practical element. I have since gone on to secure a position as Dyslexia Specialist in a school.

I feel much more confident with recognising key indicators of dyslexia and how to tailor support accordingly.

Having completed this course, I feel much more confident of my ability to teach children with SpLD. I have a better understanding of the policies relevant to Special Educational Needs and feel much more confident of my ability to assess children and recommend them for referral as necessary.

The course has enabled me to develop my knowledge, understanding and expertise in working with, and meeting the needs of children and young people who have specific learning difficulties.

Since completing the level 5 course, I feel I am now much more confident to understand Specific Learning Difficulties, interpret dyslexia screening/assessments and to support colleagues (LSA’s) in schools.

Impact of course on your competence re SpLD (dyslexia)

The course has enabled me to assess individual learners within my setting and to set appropriate SMART targets to plan an individualised, multisensory programme of interventions to support the learning in different areas of their learning.

My confidence has only grown because I have applied my new skills and seen the impact they have had on learners- this has informed me that I am competent in supporting learners with SpLD. There has been no greater joy than to find a way to support learners that has a tangible impact on their ability to engage with learning and achieve success.

I am very aware of the challenges faced by learners with SpLD and how these can affect their confidence and self-esteem. I have learned the difference multi-sensory teaching can benefit all learners.

I now feel like I can more confidently and successfully support students with SpLD, recognising the need to consistently adjust and be creative with teaching.

I feel much more confident with recognising key indicators of dyslexia and how to tailor support accordingly.

The course has given me the knowledge I need to plan and deliver 1.1 and group sessions for children that scaffold learning effectively and make full use of appropriate resources and techniques to achieve the best outcomes and promote independent learning.

The course has enabled me to develop my knowledge, understanding and expertise in working with, and meeting the needs of children and young people who have specific learning difficulties.

Completion of this course has fully prepared me to work with students and young people who have difficulties with dyslexia.

I feel more confident to design and deliver intervention programmes for learners with specific learning difficulties and to assess and monitor their progress.

Course Content

The course was very well organised. The timeline gave me a clear sequence of work to be completed and helped me to organise myself in advance in order to manage the workload. I particularly enjoyed the more practical aspects of learning. Overall the course was very comprehensive.

The course materials were effective in that I was able to navigate my way around them and they informed me well in my learning. The video learning was effective and made it feel like you had more personal contact even though it’s a distance learning course.

The materials provided in the course folder were very comprehensive and provided an invaluable source of information (they were particularly helpful when planning blocks of lessons) and the short videos provided added clarity and were very useful as an alternative way to learn.

The course was well organised and I enjoyed the style of delivery. The materials provided were really useful, especially the practical ideas for teaching sessions.

This course was excellent and was very suited to my learning style. It was so good to be able to watch the videos and complete the activities online and then attend the face to face sessions where I could put my new found knowledge to a more practical use. The face to face sessions included lots of ‘doing’ and it was invaluable being able to have a go at the different tests, whilst also having specialist support there in case I had any queries, rather than it being a complete distance learning course. The assessors on the face to face days were extremely knowledgeable and very approachable, putting me at ease in the first five minutes. While I appreciate, this works for a lot of people, I benefitted more from the blended learning and would highly recommend.

Tutor/assessor comments

I cannot fault either of my online tutors. They were both very helpful, always responding to my emails and providing feedback very punctually.

My tutor was excellent and cannot be faulted. She was swift to respond to queries, to offer feedback and mark work, she was able to advise me where I needed extra guidance and support me when I needed a more personal approach. She was very knowledgeable and approachable.

My assessor replied to my emails and queries promptly and gave comprehensive feedback.

My tutor was very helpful. She was supportive and responsive, offering constructive feedback.

My tutor was fantastic. She always responded very promptly and provided feedback that was relevant and useful and helped me to develop my confidence and abilities. I felt very lucky to have such brilliant support throughout the course.

I received excellent support from my tutor throughout the course. I feel that my success has been a result of the quality of support received from my tutor.