Fostering Inclusivity, celebrating individuality and harnessing innovation to unlock potential.
Shiplake College, an independent co-educational secondary school nestled in the picturesque countryside of Oxfordshire, in the UK, is not just a place of academic rigour, creativity and sporting endeavour but also a beacon of inclusivity. In recent years, the College has made significant strides in its approach to dyslexia, embracing modern strategies and practices to provide every student, regardless of their learning profile, with an exceptional education.
Dyslexia is a neurodiverse condition that can affect an individual’s ability to read, write, spell, process and organise both language and thought processes efficiently. It is essential to recognise that dyslexia is not a reflection of one’s intelligence but rather a different way of processing information and that each individual will have a differing learning profile. Many individuals with dyslexia are highly creative, innovative, and possess unique talents that can flourish with the right support.
Shiplake College’s Vision for Dyslexia Education
Shiplake College’s modern approach to dyslexia education is rooted in its vision of inclusivity, individualised learning, and nurturing the potential of every student. The college understands that traditional teaching methods may not cater to the diverse learning needs of all students, particularly those with dyslexia. To address this, Shiplake College has implemented several key strategies:
Early Identification and Assessment
Shiplake College recognises the importance of early identification of dyslexia. The college employs trained specialists who conduct assessments to identify students with dyslexia or related learning differences. This early identification allows for tailored support from the outset.
Multisensory Teaching Methods: Shiplake College’s SEN (Special Educational Needs) team embraces multisensory teaching methods that engage various senses in the learning process. These methods accommodate the diverse learning styles of students, making education more accessible and enjoyable for all.
Individualised Learning Plans Each student with dyslexia at Shiplake College benefits from an individualised learning plan. These plans outline specific goals and strategies to support the student’s unique needs and are regularly reviewed and adjusted to ensure continuous progress.
The college provides access to a range of assistive technology tools and resources, including text-to-speech software, speech recognition, and audiobooks. These tools empower students with dyslexia and work hand in hand with one-to-one human assistance and interventions such as scribes and other access arrangements.
Teacher Training and Professional Development
Shiplake College invests in ongoing teacher training and professional development related to dyslexia education. All educators receive training on dyslexia awareness, best practices, and effective strategies for supporting dyslexic students in the classroom.
Peer and Community Support
The college fosters a supportive environment where students with dyslexia can connect with peers who share similar experiences. Additionally, Shiplake College collaborates with parents and guardians to create a strong support network for students.
Impact on Students
Shiplake College’s modern approach to dyslexia education has had a profound impact on its students. By providing the necessary support and fostering an inclusive atmosphere, the college empowers students with dyslexia to excel academically and develop self-confidence. Many students have reported significant improvements in their reading and writing skills, as well as an increased sense of belonging within the school community. Furthermore, Shiplake College’s emphasis on individualised learning and embracing diverse talents has allowed students with dyslexia to showcase their strengths. Many of these students have excelled in areas such as sports, arts, and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Art) demonstrating that dyslexia is not a barrier to success but rather a unique perspective that can contribute to the college’s rich tapestry.
Beyond Shiplake College
By recognising the value of neurodiversity and tailoring its educational practices accordingly, Shiplake College exemplifies how schools can create an environment where every student can thrive. This approach not only benefits students with dyslexia but also enriches the entire school community. When schools embrace modern approaches to dyslexia education, they foster an inclusive culture that values diversity, empowers educators to adapt their teaching methods, and ultimately enhances the overall quality of education. Shiplake College’s modern approach to dyslexia education reflects a commitment to inclusivity, individuality and innovation to unlock the potential of every student. By embracing early identification, multisensory teaching methods, individualised learning plans, assistive technology, and ongoing teacher training, the college has created an environment where students with dyslexia can flourish academically and personally.
Moreover, Shiplake College’s approach serves as an inspiration and model for other educational institutions seeking to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for students with dyslexia. By recognising that dyslexia is not a limitation but a unique perspective, schools can pave the way for a brighter future where every student has the opportunity to thrive and make their mark on the world.
Shiplake College is an independent co-educational boarding and day school for around 520 pupils aged 11-18 in Oxfordshire, the United Kingdom. Flexi, weekly and full boarding is available from Year 9 (age 13). Approximately 12% of pupils receive additional support lessons for SEN – the majority for moderate dyslexia, with around 50% of pupils having a diagnosed learning need, normally mild dyslexia that does not require additional support lessons but is differentiated by teachers within the normal timetable of lessons, in which classes are a maximum of 16 pupils.
Mrs Esther Pasmore, Admissions Registrar,
It was a great honour to have Shiplake College, our Editor in Chief’s (Oladapo Akande) Alma Mater write this piece for our publication.