Saint Brigid’s National School, is a primary school situated in the middle of Greystones, Co. Wicklow. Our mission is to provide the highest quality education for all our children in a happy, safe and stimulating Christian environment, focusing on their academic, social, personal, moral and spiritual development to help the achieve their advancement.

A Whole School Approach to Dyslexia

St. Brigid’s has a whole school approach to Dyslexia since January 2014.

After an initial pilot programme, we used Wordsworth from 2nd class up.

You can read more about Wordsworth in St. Brigid’s HERE

Teachers also find the SNIP programme useful from 1st class.

In January 2014, staff met with the NEPS psychologist to discuss a whole school approach to Dyslexia.

She suggested the following:

• Provide handouts

• Praise the student for asking for help.

• When you ask a question, give the student ‘thinking time’ (processing time)

• If they offer an answer (i.e. put hand up) try not to keep them waiting

• How errors are handled is extremely important

• Praise effort

• Draw attention to the aspects of their guess that are correct and help to focus on what the student does know.

• ‘Errors’ can be seen as hypotheses that lead to learning rather than failure

• People with dyslexia may have poor short term memory so limit verbal information and back it up visually. Take a multi-sensory as far as possible

• Give information in small chunks

• Avoid rote learning

• Teach strategies to support memory – headings, rehearsal, sequencing.

• Give direct explicit instructions

• Check readability of texts

• Use differentiation e.g. only mark target spellings – not all

• Try teaching spelling using mnemonics

• Paired reading and peer tutoring can be good

• If possible, simplify worksheets. Use large print with clear spacing. Ideally paper should be cream/pastel coloured.

• Use Sans serif font and large font size.

• A dyslexic child will be able to show their knowledge if they tick the correct box rather than write answers

• Avoid lengthy dictation and copying

• Encourage proof reading

• Train student to plan written work using headings and sub-headings ahead of time.

• Try mind mapping

• Do not ask the student to read out loud. Sometimes teachers ask students to practice a short paragraph at home so they can read it with fluency in front of the other students.

• Highlight difficult words in text

• Sit the pupil up at the front of the class

• Check posture/pencil grip etc.

• Give work in manageable amounts

• A cursive writing style is recommended

• Ask pupil to survey each task and to think what the pupil has to do before starting.

• See if they can tell you what they have to do.

• Show and allow alternative ways of recording their work, e.g. flow charts, maps, diagrams and/or computers.

• Take a ‘Look and Say’ approach for spelling and build on common words.

Famous People who have had Dyslexia

Developing and sustaining a child’s self esteem is very important.

It may be useful for your child to know about famous people that have been successful and that have dyslexia. Famously Albert Einstein is thought to have had dyslexia. Click on this LINK to the Dyslexia Association Ireland website to see a list of names.