A WIRRAL school has received special recognition for its work supporting children with dyslexia.

West Kirby School and College was awarded the Dyslexia Friendly Quality Mark from the British Dyslexia Association (BDA).

The accreditation is only issued to those schools or organisations who, after a rigorous verification process, demonstrate that they provide high-quality educational experiences for Dyslexic individuals.

The school is described as having "high expectations of those pupils with Dyslexia and ensures that there are no barriers to achieving great things".

Claudia Cotton, BDA Accreditor, commented in her report: "This is a school where all decisions centre around the needs of their learners.

"This ethos is woven throughout all aspects of the provision offered. The Headteacher has invested time and effort in developing a staff who can deliver a ‘quality diet of provision and as Sian Thomas, headteacher and charity CEO stated ‘the staff are unrelenting in ensuring the right provision is put in place to enable all learners to thrive.'" 

The school’s learning support manager and award lead, Tricia Abernethy, said: "West Kirby School and College look to transform challenges into triumphs, and differences into strengths.

"Having the Dyslexia Friendly Quality Mark is our commitment to empowering every learner and creating a supportive environment where all pupils can thrive."

Matthew, a year seven pupil, said: "I have dyslexia and I have struggled with reading and writing in the past, but in school they are great with support and I have a laptop to help me with this now. I feel more confident in my writing in class".

A number of key points were highlighted by BDA accreditor Claudia Cotton in her report. They included:

  • The 'learners talk about how the best part of the school was the adults, they are almost like friends."
  • The ethos of the school is firmly rooted in a child-centered approach that always celebrates strengths and achievements.
  • Praise for the Pastoral Care Team (PCT) who are described as ‘playing a significant role in ensuring learners feel safe, secure and ready to learn’.
  • Teachers and support staff talked confidently to their accreditor about adaptations used in the classroom such as vocabulary walls; visual timetables; coloured paper and overlays; pictorial representations and oracy 21 techniques.

Dan Flanagan, deputy headteacher and head of primary, said: "It has been amazing to receive the Dyslexia Quality Mark, a fantastic reflection of the hard work that staff put in every day to support our pupils' diverse needs.

"The strategies and interventions put in place for our pupils with Dyslexia not only support them to make accelerated progress but help develop the literacy skills of all pupils”.

The school has received multiple awards in recognition of its outstanding specialist support for pupils over recent years.

These include: the Rainbow Flag Award, Anti-Bullying Quality Mark and also Ofsted Outstanding 2021, Advanced Status Autism Accreditation, ADHD Friendly School Award, Attachment and Trauma Sensitive Schools Award, Gold Level, Leading Parent Partnership Award, Wellbeing Award & Artsmark Gold.