Supporting Pupils with Dyslexia: Whole-school training materials and resources for Sencos

Supporting Pupils with Dyslexia: Whole-school training materials and resources for Sencos

Primary, Secondary
Nov 2012


Supporting Pupils with Dyslexia is a complete training and resource pack to help SENCOs support pupils with dyslexia to reach their full potential, and enable their colleagues to do the same.  It offers a huge range of practical materials they can use to inform their own practice and to lead and support the professional development of colleagues in their school.

The package offers planning and review sheets, presentations for training, checklists, case studies, pen pictures, professional development activities and proformas for self-review, reflection and discussion to give SENCOs all the tools they need to review current practice and plan for development.


Supporting Pupils with Dyslexia will support SENCOs to:

  • Increase understanding and awareness of dyslexia and the importance of nurturing pupils’ self-esteem
  • Review current practice using a developmental format that encourages self-review, reflection and discussion
  • Devise a plan for change and development to create inclusive practice that enhances provision
  • Enable reflective, strategic managerial and classroom practice
  • Identify individual pupil strengths and weaknesses and plan a focused programme of teaching and support
  • Initiate programmes that monitor pupil progress and lead colleagues in managing interventions
  • Plan training initiatives that continually develop staff skills, knowledge and confidence
  • Establish strong links with parents to form partnerships that support children
  • Help children to become independent in managing their dyslexia with early identification and effective provision.

Why buy an Optimus Education DIY Training resource?

Supporting Pupils with Dyslexia: Whole-school training materials and resources for Sencos is part of the Optimus Education D-I-Y (deliver it yourself) training portfolio. Our D-I-Y training packages provide:

  • value for money – training sessions can be delivered multiple times to different groups of staff
  • comprehensive training materials – detailed training plans, presentations, handouts and a variety of practical activities to engage participants are all provided in the package
  • flexibility – training sessions can be customised with case studies, questions or exercises which are specific to your school’s needs
  • excellent quality – the training materials have been written by experienced trainers with expertise in the topic area; you benefit from their knowledge and guidance
  • measurable outcomes – each package includes ways to monitor effectiveness and learning outcomes.


Summary of contents

Each chapter contains training resources that support a problem-solving approach for collaborative professional development and staff training.  The resources are designed to aid reflective school development in a range of contexts and can be used as a complete programme or to cover specific issues, for team approaches and for individual development.

  • Enhance understanding of dyslexia and aid early identification
  • Review, monitor and evaluate current practice
  • Plan for change and development that enhances provision
  • Enable reflective managerial and classroom practice

Session Breakdown

Chapter 1 – What is dyslexia?

  • What is dyslexia?
  • The impact of dyslexia on the learner and their family
  • The differences in individual profiles of strengths and weaknesses associated with dyslexia and their impact on learning
  • Definitions of dyslexia
  • Theories relating to the causation of dyslexia
  • Dyslexia – the positives

Chapter 2 – Identification and assessment of dyslexia

  • Early indicators of dyslexia
  • Formal identification and assessment of dyslexia
  • Informal assessments to identify strengths and weaknesses, to inform an individualised programme of support

Chapter 3 – The child in context – school, home and community

  • A case study on ‘adam’ (year 8) with an associated activity which is designed to extend the SENCo’s own underpinning knowledge of dyslexia
  • The pupil with dyslexia at school and the importance of creating a positive environment
  • A series of activities based around the issues and opportunities associated with creating a positive school environment for pupils who have dyslexia
  • Creating ‘dyslexia-friendly’ resource boxes for the classroom
  • The child with dyslexia at home and the importance of creating a positive environment (’Baldip’s story’)
  • An activity based on the issues and opportunities associated with creating a positive home environment/effective home–school links for pupils who have dyslexia
  • A final thought on ‘community’ and the adult with dyslexia

Chapter 4 – Planning and evaluating provision for dyslexia

  • Waves of intervention and an introduction to provision mapping
  • Costing the provision map in terms of both time and money
  • The steps required to create a provision map
  • Additional resources for planning provision for pupils with literacy difficulties/dyslexia

Chapter 5 – Supporting professional development in dyslexia

  • Specific areas of SENCO leadership in supporting the professional development of colleagues
  • Different training and professional development formats
  • SENCO self-review
  • Planning for professional development of colleagues

Chapter 6 – Developing a whole school inclusive approach to dyslexia

  • Reviewing whole-school inclusive approaches to dyslexia
  • The dyslexia-inclusive classroom
  • Celebrating success

Each chapter contains training materials that can be used to support:

  • Better understanding of dyslexia
  • Discussion and debate on a range of interlinked themes related to SEN policy and provision
  • Review, monitoring and evaluation of relevant aspects of practice
  • Planning for change and development
  • Reflective strategic, managerial and classroom practices
  • The raising of awareness and building of confidence in planning for inclusive practice

About the expert

Susan Griffiths is a member of the Centre for Special Needs Education and Research at The University of Northampton and teaches on masters education programmes.  She previously trained education assistants in special educational needs and inclusion in the UK and Hong Kong, and worked in private dyslexia practice, as a SENCO, and as a secondary school classroom teacher.

Barry Groom is a member of the Centre for Special Needs Education and Research at The University of Northampton. He teaches on the SENCO Accreditation and BESD modules in the MA Education programme and is Course Leader for Education Studies.  He previously worked as a school improvement consultant, adviser for SEN and headteacher of EBD special schools.

Andy Smith is a member of the Centre for Special Needs Education and Research at the University of Northampton and teaches on masters education programmes.


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