Understanding SEND

The Head's Study

This week we are focusing on everyone in our school and community with special educational needs. What was once institutionally misunderstood and seen but never spoken about is now openly recognised and supported. But how much longer before the undoubted skills and diverse thinking of those with special needs is truly embraced and celebrated?

Made By Dyslexia, a charity that aims to help us understand, value and support dyslexia, last week announced that it would be training every teacher in the world over the next five years, to address the issue of children’s ‘dyslexic strengths’.

This concept of dyslexic ‘superpowers’ is not new to teachers. There has been a noticeable shift over the last decade towards celebrating the exceptional creativity, imagination and intuition of many dyslexics. Unshackled from the constraints of traditional pen and paper and supported by the phenomenally powerful suite of programmes at our fingertips, children and adults with dyslexia have been freed up to focus on their strengths.

We will be marking National Dyslexia Week by dispelling myths about dyslexia, talking about it openly and positively and supporting students with dyslexia by acknowledging their many strengths. An estimated 10% of the population has dyslexia and despite our understanding improving significantly, attitudes can still be negative without appreciating the remarkable traits that many dyslexics possess. An advert a few years ago for a marketing company specifically asked for people with dyslexia to apply. They were looking for applicants who ‘think differently’ and have ‘unique minds’, a refreshingly open-minded approach that recognises the traits displayed by so many successful leaders and something we hope to continue celebrating at Royal High School.