We have been involved in dyslexia and teaching for many years and between us we have experience across the full age range. For us, it was natural that the popular 100 Ideas book on Dyslexia should be separated into 2 books: 100 Ideas for primary and 100 for secondary. Both sectors offer significant challenges in meeting the social, emotional and educational needs of young people with dyslexia. Although some of the strategies are generic across the age range, such as ‘mind maps’ and ‘mnemonics’ and paired and reciprocal reading, there are many other approaches and strategies that are specific to each of the sectors. It was natural therefore to create this division.
We have introduced a new section in the Primary book on nursery and early years. There is no doubt this is a crucial area as getting it right at this stage can pave the way for more successful interventions later on and a happier outcome for all – children, parents and teachers.
There are specific challenges inherent in secondary school, which often have an achievement and examination focus. The nature of secondary schools can be off putting for the young person with dyslexia and therefore we have included a section on self-esteem and motivation. We have also focused on effective learning, which includes strategies that can be used across the whole curriculum. This includes becoming an independent learner and also ideas on study skills, note-taking and revision strategies as well as time management.
Having said that, we also appreciate that secondary schools are very much subject orientated and we have included strategies for English, History, Geography, Maths, Music, Drama and Art, General Science, Biology, Additional language learning, Physical Education and Food Technology and Textiles. We hope that these ideas will provide insights into how to deal with dyslexia at secondary school while also acting as a springboard to both develop their own ideas and to disseminate information on dyslexia across the whole school.
We have endeavored to incorporate explanations and a rationale for the ideas in this book as we appreciate that the book will be used by experienced practitioners and subject teachers who may have less knowledge of dyslexia.
From our experience, a ‘dip in’ and accessible book is always welcomed by the busy teacher and we hope that will be the case with these two new 100 Ideas books. We are extremely grateful for the positive feedback we have received in person and through emails from teachers who have found the previous editions of 100 Ideas extremely useful.
Ultimately this helps the teacher, the parents and of course the student him/herself and can make the sometimes challenging ‘educational track’ more accessible and more pleasurable for young people with dyslexia.