What we believe at MBA
Every child who joins us at MBA will gain access to a unique world of opportunity and experience. Talent is celebrated, curiosity is nurtured and every individual is given the chance to shine. We help to develop young people with a positive attitude to learning and life, ready to take on the challenges of our fast-changing world.
It is our job to nurture the very best in each person by removing barriers to learning and identifying every child’s strengths and talents. We foster students’ natural abilities and support them on their journey as they become forward-thinking, well- rounded, unique individuals.
The British Dyslexia Association (BDA) describes dyslexia friendly schools as, effective schools, because they identify and select best practice. A particular feature of such schools is the awareness among all teachers of what each pupil should be able to achieve, together with a range of response strategies when targets are not met.
The idea behind the Quality Mark is that changing practice to accommodate dyslexic individuals often results in good practice for everyone. In Cornwall, the Cornwall Dyslexia Association (CDA) recognises that the majority of dyslexic students will be taught in mainstream classrooms and by non specialist tutors. Therefore, it is important that, as well as employing appropriate teaching methods, all environments are dyslexia friendly.
Current Definition of Dyslexia:
“Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling. Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed. Dyslexia occurs across a wide range of intellectual abilities. It is best thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category, as there are no clear cut off point.”
(Sir Jim Rose, 2009)
The Dyslexia Friendly Schools (IDFS) Quality Mark was originally an initiative from the BDA’s Education Office, drawing on expertise from across the BDA. In Cornwall, the Quality Mark has been developed and implemented jointly by the Education Authority and the CDA.
In Cornwall, the CDA forms part of the accreditation team that visits schools applying for the IDFS Quality Mark. There is a stringent set of criteria that schools have to meet and an ‘inspection’ process at the school, which takes a full day.
Examples of some of the criteria schools need to meet to obtain the IDFS Quality Mark:
· all staff need to be proactive in implementing and promoting inclusive dyslexia friendly practice;
· pupils with dyslexia are supported pastorally as well as academically;
· all teaching support staff have undergone dyslexia friendly training and all new staff have a DFS induction programme;
· parents and governors are involved in the development of DFS and have the opportunity to participate in parent focus meetings;
· whole school assessment systems are used to identify and monitor pupils with dyslexia;
· identified pupils are individually assessed and the outcomes are used to inform provision;
· individual or small group provision is available where appropriate;
· teachers use appropriate multi-sensory teaching styles and pupils learn in a multi-sensory way and are given the choice of recording methods.
However, parents should bear in mind that MBA is not claiming to be perfect and we recognise that we still have plenty of room for improvement – some of the criteria will have been scored as “working towards” rather than “achieved” and the process will require regular follow-ups to see how MBA is progressing.
MBA is looking forward to this exciting new challenge and hopes to gain the IDFS Quality Mark within 12-18 months.