Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity

Understanding dyslexia: supporting pupils, families and schools

In a typical class of seven to eight year olds, around 15% will have literacy issues. But many aren’t getting any specialist help. We’re partnering with the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity to stop children missing out on the support they need.

Our grant of £22,722 to the charity’s Families and Schools Together (FAST) project means 90 teachers and teaching assistants will benefit from professional development training, and parents and carers will have the opportunity to attend dyslexia awareness sessions.

The grant will also fund multiple one-to-one support for five pupils from six schools. Sessions for pupils will use multisensory techniques, where children are helped to learn using their senses – for example, as well as reading and listening, they may involve touch and movement. Based on each child’s strengths and learning preferences, the sessions will give them support in their specific areas of need, including spelling, sentence structure, reading accuracy and comprehension.

  • At least 1 in 10 children in the UK have dyslexia. (NHS, 2018, Overview: dyslexia).
  • 75% of schools report having no access to specialist teachers. (DYT, 2020, Hide and Seek report: Where are all the specialists?, 2020)
  • Our grant will provide support to 30 pupils, as well as workshops for 90 teachers and sessions for 90 families.

Understanding the benefits and challenges of dyslexia

The FAST project professional training sessions will help teachers and teaching assistants understand what dyslexia is, how to identify if a child may have dyslexia, and how to support a child who is dyslexic. They’ll provide practical help for making learning dyslexic friendly.

Parents and carers at each school will be offered a workshop to help them understand the challenges for learners, both at home and at school, and how they can make the most of difference. They’ll also learn strategies and tips for supporting children with dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties.

‘’Up until now we have had limited resources to work with in London. The grant from Kusuma Trust is a very exciting development. It will help us support six schools next academic year, which is urgently needed in view of how far behind some pupils have fallen due to home schooling.’’ 

Andy Cook, CEO, Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity

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