Free SEN workshop at Maple Hayes Dyslexia School

A free legal advice workshop to help parents struggling to get help for their children’s special educational needs is being held at Lichfield’s Maple Hayes Dyslexia School next month (November).

Parents will be able to get advice from the Midlands’ leading education law department and also an expert psychologist who will be able to advise on assessments.

The workshops have been designed for parents who are considering applying for a statutory assessment or want a specialist school placement funded by your Local Authority for their child.

The Understand Changes to SEN workshop, which will be taking place on Saturday, 5th November, also aim to bring parents of children with learning difficulties or suspected SEN, up-to-speed on the legislation issued in 2014 which saw the introduction of Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) and to give them control of a dedicated SEN budget.

Along with being able to get help from the teachers at the specialist dyslexia school, Andrew Barrowclough, Head of Education Law department at HCB Solicitors and his team of expert solicitors, who have secured more than 1,000 places at independent specialist schools through education tribunals, will be on-hand to give advice.

Dr Daryl Brown, headteacher of Maple Hayes Dyslexia School said: “It’s so important for parents of children with learning difficulties to have the best possible handle on the changes to the system. These workshops are perfect for any parents who may unsure of what help is out there for your child.”

The ‘Understanding Changes to SEN’ workshop is taking place at 10am on Saturday 5th November 2016 at Maple Hayes Dyslexia School, Abnalls Lane, Lichfield, WS13 8BL.

To reserve a place at the workshop, email office@dyslexic.gb.com or call 01543 264387.

Dyslexia students celebrate outstanding GCSE success

Talented pupils at Staffordshire’s specialist dyslexia school, Maple Hayes Dyslexia School, have been celebrating today after enjoying GCSE exam success.

24% of pupils at the school scooped five A*-C grades, an exceptional achievement as many of them first entered the school unable to read or write.

All pupils achieved GCSE English with 14% gaining a C grade or above - an impressive result as it is the subject that has proven to be one of the biggest stumbling blocks throughout their school lives. 57% of the pupils also achieved grade C or better in Maths.

The results have seen many of the pupils now planning on going onto further education in September, an achievement that didn’t seem possible before they started at the innovative school.

Dr Daryl Brown, headteacher at Maple Hayes Dyslexia School, said: “Today’s results have been astounding and are a testament to the hard work of our pupils and staff.

“It’s been fantastic to see so many happy faces today - especially as a few years ago, some pupils never thought they could achieve the results they have done - and their success is definitely down to their hard work and drive. They deserve all the success in their future education and career. “

He added: “These results highlight that dyslexia need not be a life sentence of underachievement. It is not a student’s dyslexia that holds them back from learning but is often the teaching method deployed in the school. Through our unique teaching techniques, we ensure that our pupils are independent learners who can then apply our methods to future learning and jobs.”

Katie Barnaby, aged 16, picked up 8 GCSE’s today. She is going onto study catering at Nottingham College: “I'm very proud of my results today. I'm most proud of the C that I got in art. I'm looking forward to going to college and one day owning my own bakery.”

Joel Barke, aged 16 from Lichfield, said: “Getting my results today has been great. I'm really happy with them and feel like I've accomplished something. I was a bit nervous on my way here, and couldn't sleep last night, but I'm very proud now.”

The school - which takes on pupils from the whole of the Midlands - turns out bright, able pupils with competitive GCSEs year on year. Many continue learning once leaving Maple Hayes, going on to college, university and some even gaining PhDs. The school is proud of the fact that none of its pupils have joined the “Neets” (not in education, employment or training) statistics - despite youth unemployment increasing.

Maple Hayes Dyslexia School, which was founded in 1982 by educational psychologist and principal Dr Neville Brown, was set up as a lifeline for young dyslexics failed by mainstream education. It steers away from the widely-taught phonics approach, instead using a unique morphological teaching method that uses icons to indicate meanings of words.

Maple Hayes Dyslexia School pupils well above par at Golf course

Sporty pupils at Maple Hayes school in Lichfield have teamed up with two golfing pros and taught everything from learning to swing to staying on the green.

Children at the  specialist dyslexic school in Lichfield ‘teed off’ their six weeks of lessons by being taught golfing basics, from holding the club, stance, swing, direction and distance all the way to being able to drive the ball.

Branston Golf and Country Club's golf professionals Paul Hebdon and Steve Hadfield also gave students an insight into into the ‘Golfers Code’ - and taught that manners and etiquette are just as important as being able to putt and drive.

Steve Hadfield summed up the success of the Maple Hayes golf sessions and said: “At Branston we specialise in encouraging young people to gain the sporting and social benefits of golf, including fitness, standards of behaviour, honesty and respect. The success of our outreach programme to schools like Maple Hayes across southern Staffordshire and the West Midlands is testament to the talent of Branston's team of professionals.”

Golf is one of a number of sports that help dyslexia sufferers with their hand-eye co-ordination and this scheme has given students at the school a taster into a sport that they may well have never tried before.

The final part of the course involved the students being able to showcase their talents on the full Staffordshire-based 18-hole course.

Headteacher Dr Daryl Brown said: “Our pupils really enjoyed the experience and it was a chance for them to try out a new sport, learn new skills and above all have fun. We want to thank the golfing pros from Branston Golf and Country Club for their hard work and sharing their skills with us.”

The school, which has a roll of 120 students aged between seven and 17-years-old, was founded in 1982 by Dr Neville Brown, the school Principal.

Pupils learn how to stay safe surfing the net

Surfing safely on the internet has been given a new twist to pupils at Lichfield’s Maple Hayes Dyslexia School who have been treated to a special theatre performance so they can spot the dangers of strangers on the net.

Bright pupils at the Abnall’s Lane school were visited by Saltmine Theatre Company earlier this month (March) and enjoyed a performance of ESCape - an internet safety play.

The 45 minute play follows 11-year-old Sarah Thompson who lives on the edge of an enchanted forest, which she is allowed to enter for the first time on her own.  She starts her adventure with the three rules from her mother that will keep her safe echoing in her ears - including not to give a stranger her full name, not to give out her address, not to go off the path, and also to call for help from an adult if she is scared. However when she meets a stranger, all is not what it seems and she struggles to keep to the rules.

Using a combination of theatre, allegory and an interactive workshop the play taught pupils the rules of the internet in a fun and accessible way, and covered topics including cyber bullying to the dangers of talking to strangers on the internet.

Dr Daryl Brown, headteacher at the Abnalls Lane school, said: “The children really enjoyed the performance and learnt a lot about being safer on the internet. It can be sometimes a challenge to show children about stranger danger in a modern age, but this was the perfect way to introduce our pupils to the rules of the internet and what to look out for. It was really good that quite a few of our parents also came into school to view the drama.”

Christian Carr, aged nine, said: “It was a really good play and we enjoyed having them here for the day.”

Zack Gambrell, aged 11, added: “It was fun to watch and was a good way to learn how we can be safer on the internet and in life.”

The school, which has a roll of 120 students aged between seven and 17-years-old, was founded in 1982 by Dr Neville Brown, the school Principal.