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									        Barnwell Specific Learning Difficulties Base

  Help For Parents Of Students With Reading And Specific
                    Learning Difficulties

Starting secondary school should be an exciting time for both the
student and parents. For some it can also be daunting and worries about
how to help your child at home are quite usual. This advice will help
parents to help their child to settle and develop good organisational and
study skills.

        Special Educational Needs Code of Practice(DfES) states,
‘a child with special educational needs should have their needs met’
‘Parents have a vital role to play in supporting their child’s education’

Organisation - Student timetable

      Spend some time together colour coding the timetable and putting
       it on display in a family area and the student’s bedroom

      Refer to the timetable daily

      Check together with your child that equipment for the next day is
       in his/her schoolbag. Every day will be different but you should
       soon find a weekly pattern. For instance pencil case (check inside it
       frequently!), planner, exercise books, calculator, reading book,
       completed EXL, PE kit, food tech ingredients, consent slips for
       trips, parent evening appointment letters, remove rubbish and
       stale food items and so on…

       ‘Create your own reward system for your child getting it right!’

Keep in contact
The planner is inspected and signed by your child’s form tutor each week.
Use the planner to write to your child’s teachers with any concerns about
school. You can also contact us by email and telephone.


Phone 01438 222500

        Barnwell Specific Learning Difficulties Base

Check out the Barnwell School website regularly to keep up to date with
all that is happening in school

Time for ‘Extended Learning’

                 ‘Praise is a stronger motivator than criticism!’

Every family is different. It is up to you to decide the best time for EXL
in your home but take into consideration that routine and consistency are
vital in building good study habits with your child.

      Check the planner for what has to be done and by when, encourage
       your child to volunteer this information
      Have a quiet area away from distractions like the TV
      Have a time related target - EXL should not take all evening!
      Be around to help and encourage
      You can scribe for your child either by hand or word processing
      You can read for your child, for instance when tasks involve
       researching on internet or from books
      Encourage creativity, pictures, diagrams, models and so on
      Make sure the EXL is easily accessible so it does not get lost
       before it is handed in, perhaps a special folder for EXL in your
       child’s school bag
      Email word processed EXL directly to the teacher
      Inform the teacher if there is a concern about the EXL

                             ‘Communication not stress!’

        Barnwell Specific Learning Difficulties Base

Reading with your child

      Little and often is best, a good target is 3 times per week,
       alternate days for about 20 minutes per session.
      You and your child should take turns at reading a page each, this
       will help the fluency and pace of the story.
      When your child asks for a word, you should give him/her the whole
       word, rather than ask him/her to sound it out - BUT do not give the
       word as soon as he/she asks, leave a gap of 5 seconds or so as this
       extra thinking time often results in him/her finding the word
       without help.
      When he/she misreads a high frequency word such as ‘on’, ‘house’,
       ‘she’ etc it is best to let him/her read on to the end of the
       sentence as he/she will often then self correct as he/she realises
       what he/she has said is out of context. If he/she does not, then
       point to the word and ask him/her to say it.
      During the reading make a note of some of the more common
       and/or useful words that he/she has had a problem with and
       choose 2 or 3 to go into the word pack( cut a piece of A4 card into
       20 cards, write one word on each card to gradually build a bank of
       word cards). Your child may want to choose the words from your
       list. (Do not make this list too long or it will look discouraging)

              Barnwell Specific Learning Difficulties Base

      How to use the word pack

            Warm up. Before reading the book your child can go through the
             word pack and read each word to you, if there are any he/she
             cannot remember then hold them back to the end, read them to
             him/her, turn them face down, mix, ask her to turn them over and
             read to you
            Cool down. At the end of reading add the 2 or 3 new words, ask
             him/her to read them to you, turn them face down, mix, ask
             him/her to turn them over and read to you
            As the pack grows you may want to ask him/her to lay out all the
             cards face down and choose 12 at random to read
            You may decide to remove easier words from the pack for a few
             sessions, then add back to ensure they are learnt
            You may choose a smaller number of words to focus on if they are
             proving difficult for him/her to remember
            You can ask him/her to put the words into a sentence to check
            You should encourage him/her to see/hear the number of syllables
             in the word; do this by clapping for each syllable. Look for little
             words in words, eg protested - pro/test/ed

                                     ‘Fun, praise and reward!’

"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island."

                                                                        — Walt Disney

        Barnwell Specific Learning Difficulties Base

Outside Agency Contact Information

A list of agencies designed to support families.

Local North Hertfordshire Dyslexic Group

DYSLEXIA ACTION (Formerly Dyslexia Institute)

Telephone: 01784 222300

Fax: 01784 222333



Telephone: 01462 454986


Telephone: 0118 966 8271


Nessy – games to improve reading and spelling

WordShark – games to improve reading and spelling

Lexia – structured programme for improving

WordTalk - Free screen reader

        Barnwell Specific Learning Difficulties Base


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