Dyslexia Friendly School Award

In April 2014 Whitley Lodge First School achieved the “Dyslexia Friendly School Award.”, following a rigorous assessment process which had taken place over a two year period.

Teaching staff at Whitley Lodge have worked closely with North Tyneside’s Dyslexia Referral Team over a number of years, initially to help individual children who were experiencing specific difficulties with literacy. However, over time, many of the strategies, resources and techniques adopted to help those particular children were recognised as also being helpful to many others. As a result, many of these resources and strategies became embedded into general classroom teaching as examples of “good practise.” On one of their regular visits to our school, it was the Dyslexia Team who suggested we should apply for our good practise to be formally recognised in a “Dyslexia Friendly School” award.

The accreditation process started with a school “audit”, looking at how children’s needs were identified and assessed, staff training, intervention programmes, school resources and classroom strategies. 
Each class teacher carried out their own “classroom audit”, and an action plan was put together which identified needs such as further training or resources.

Following a successful review of our action plan, a date was set for a final day of assessment, when members of the Dyslexia Team came to Whitley Lodge for a full day. This time was used to observe, meet with children, staff, parents, and to examine the evidence and impact of strategies, to support our claim to be a “Dyslexia Friendly School”.

We waited anxiously for a week while the team reviewed all their findings, and were delighted to be told that we had met all the criteria and passed the accreditation process with flying colours.

As a result, just before the Easter break 2014, Whitley Lodge First School became the first school in North Tyneside to achieve this prestigious award. Later in the school year, on July 14th , the Mayor of North Tyneside, Councillor Norma Redfearn, visited Whitley Lodge and presented us with a plaque in acknowledgment of this achievement.

Mandy Elkin
Dyslexia Friendly School Award Coordinator