Dyslexia and Dyscalculia Conference 2024: Creating a positive learning environment
This year’s conference promises to be an informative and useful event for educators from a variety of settings and parents of primary and secondary aged children.
Thursday 29th February 2024
9:15am - 3:20pm
Virtual / Online
The conference will start by introducing the signs of dyslexia and dyscalculia as well as outlining some appropriate strategies for support.
The event will go on to explore the use of multi-sensory tools for teaching mathematics, and how teachers can use Artificial Intelligence (AI), in particular freely available technology, to make their classroom more inclusive.
We will finish the day with practical approaches that can be used to support children and adolescents in developing their resilience and self-esteem and reducing anxiety.
Participants will take away a range of useful techniques to support the learners they work with in a range of settings.
Introductory Level: For Educators and Parents
**4.5 hour CPD Certificate will be sent after attendance of the conference**
Should you be interested but unable to attend live on the day, you can purchase a recording ticket.
You will receive an email with a link to access the recording by the 7th March. To ensure the video is only used by the purchaser, you will be provided with a unique password to access the recording. You will have up to 30 days and 3 logins to access to the recording. Your certificate will be sent to you once the recording is watched fully.
The login you are provided with is for the sole use of the purchaser. The recording is copyright British Dyslexia Association 2023.
Our fantastic Line-up of Speakers!
Grace Elliott - British Dyslexia Association Professional Practice Manager & Brenda Ferrie - British Dyslexia Association Dyscalculia Programme Leader
Dyslexia and Dyscalculia: Stats, Signs and Support
Dyslexia is a hidden disability and many of the signs of dyslexia are not obvious. This presentation will provide an accessible overview of the fundamentals of dyslexia and dyscalculia. It will start by discussing the prevalence and early indicators of dyslexia and dyscalculia.
It will then go onto highlight the difficulties that individuals with dyslexia and dyscalculia can face in education and conclude by weighing up various strategies and interventions to support individuals with dyslexia and dyscalculia.
Target Audience: Primary and Secondary
Grace Elliott is an experienced teacher, teacher trainer and assessor with APC, ATS, PG Cert SENCO and AMBDA. After completing a MSc at Oxford University , Grace went onto study for an PhD at Reading University to further research the causes of poor reading comprehension and the most effective interventions for poor comprehenders.
Following this, she has written numerous publications on the topic of poor reading comprehension. Whilst studying, Grace has worked as a Head of Year and SENCO at a secondary and primary school, before moving to the British Dyslexia Association as Professional Practice Manager.
Brenda Ferrie qualified as a teacher of maths but realized that many of her students who excelled at maths had difficulties with reading and writing which lead her to do her Level 7 in dyslexia.
There were other students who had no difficulties with reading and writing but struggled to understand relatively simple maths concepts, which this lead Brenda into the world of dyscalculia
Florence Callender - Chief Inspiration Officer - Innovative Lifestyle Solutions
The Legendary Learner: An amazing way to transform struggling students and open the doors to a fabulous future
Dyslexia and dyscalculia are not limitations; they are unique perspectives that invite us to rethink conventional learning approaches and celebrate diverse ways of understanding and processing information.
This presentation aims to inspire teachers and parents to support struggling students in becoming lifelong achievers by embracing a growth mindset. We’ll discuss the qualities of a Legendary Learner, highlighting the important role mindset plays in educational success. and share proven strategies to promote growth. By the end of the session, attendees will feel empowered to encourage taking risks, acknowledge effort, and create positive learning environments.
Target Audience: Teachers, education professionals and parents - primary and secondary
Florence Callender is an international speaker, author, nationally certified speech-language pathologist, and educational consultant who has spent over 25 years researching and implementing new methods to help children with learning difficulties excel. She’s passionate about showing parents of dyslexic children, who are overwhelmed and frustrated, how to work with their children at home, so they learn faster and easier, have a better school experience, and succeed… without stress.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education and a Master of Arts in Speech Pathology. Florence is the founder of Innovative Lifestyle Solutions, and the creator of Learning Made Easy: Success Secrets for Parenting Dyslexia – a course that empowers parents with proven tools and strategies to position their child for long-term learning success.
Stay tuned for the release of Florence’s upcoming empowering and insightful children’s book, Lazy Lucy, designed to encourage children who have trouble spelling, reading, and paying attention. This book also intends to raise awareness among parents about the importance of testing their children to identify the cause of their academic troubles.
Her passion for inspiring excellence in children, creating nurturing environments where every child can flourish, and unlocking their full potential shines through in every speech she delivers.
Bernie Westacott - Maths Intervention Teacher
Virtual Manipulatives – their use and success with older learners
Virtual manipulatives can be a much closer match to a mathematical concept than physical manipulatives can, for example when regrouping Ones and Tens. The base ten blocks require a pupil to ‘exchange’ or ‘swap out’ 10 Ones for 1 Ten, or 1 Ten for 10 Ones, when in fact the concept is that of ‘composing’ or ‘decomposing’ units, which is much better experienced with the animation possible within the virtual world of an app.
In our session I aim to some demonstrate some examples of virtual manipulatives/apps that have really helped pupils to grasp key areas of maths in arithmetic and algebra. I hope that delegates will gain the knowledge and confidence to use these apps with their own pupils, and more importantly to allow their pupils to engage with these apps themselves. This is something that should be experienced by pupils as active learners rather than as passive spectators. I also aim to demonstrate how some apps allows teachers to prepare and store files/boards ready to share with their pupils, and various possibilities for using these features in the classroom.
Target Audience: Primary and Secondary
I taught maths for 39 years full-time in prep schools from 1973 to 2012. In the summer of 2012, I retired as Head of Maths at Northwood Prep School in Herts. I currently work 2 days a week in a support role in in the Maths department of Merchant Taylors’ Prep providing both intervention and enrichment across the 3 to 13-year-old age range and preparing their Y8 pupils for 13+ entrance and scholarship exams when required.
In 2006, I introduced Singapore Maths into Northwood Prep and trained all the staff - we also developed the maths teaching in Nursery and Reception so that it prepared pupils to start Singapore Maths formally in Year 1. From October 2015 I worked as an Inspire Maths School Improvement consultant for Oxford University Press (OUP). As well as working with schools, I also assisted with training new Inspire Maths consultants and in the preparation of Inspire Maths CPD units. I retired from working with OUP in 2022 so I could spend more time researching.
In addition to continuing in my part-time role at MTP, I am a Maths consultant for Teach Your Monster (Usborne) developing a Maths game 'Teach Your Monster Number Skills’ - which has already been released worldwide - and I am a member of the Early Childhood Mathematics Group (ECMG) developing child progression indicators and helping the group with video production.
Kiran Nijabat - Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist - Family wellness Practice
Effects of dyslexia on children's mental health and interventions to improve outcomes
An overview of Dyslexia and allied reading difficulties and their relationship with mental health problems, I am to provide a overview of the evidence that shows the link between these difficulties.
Target Audience: Primary and Secondary
Dr Kiran Nijabat is a Consultant Child and adolescent psychiatrist and the founder and director of the Family Wellness Practice.
Dr Kiran graduated from Guys’, King’s and St. Thomas’ Medical school in 2008 and gained an Intercalated BSc in Management from Imperial Business School. She went on to train on the UCL core psychiatry training scheme and the Tavistock higher training scheme.
Dr Kiran is passionate about mental wellness and uses her expertise to educate children, adolescents, their families and professionals through workshops and CPD accredited courses.
In the past 5 years, Kiran has led the Family Wellness Practice team and has developed and delivered ten CPD accredited mental health related courses covering a range of subjects, including mental wellness, building resilience, parenting, self harm and suicide prevention.
The Family Wellness Practice team have delivered bespoke mental health training and counselling to over 5000 staff parents and students across various sectors including schools, colleges, nurseries, orphanages, residential homes, charities, places of worship and hospital staff.
She has received outstanding feedback nationally and internationally for her work and delivered ‘train the trainer’ mental health training on behalf of the World health organisation in the Maldives for a charity called Mental health awareness foundation. She has also delivered mental health awareness training in schools and charities in Pakistan and the Middle East.
Dr Rory Cowlam - British Dyslexia Association Ambassador
From school classroom to Veterinary practice: My educational journey
When I was formally diagnosed with Dyslexia, I was quite far into my education, studying for my Veterinary degree at the Royal Veterinary College. Although my primary school and English teacher, Mrs Prewett, had noticed symptoms when I was much younger due to some struggles I was having in class, it wasn’t until much later that I finally underwent an official Dyslexia assessment. Up until this point, I had always struggled to fully understand how I learnt and why I was good at some subjects and so bad at others. This is why the work the British Dyslexia Association is doing is so important. The British Dyslexia Association promotes early identification of specific learning difficulties (SpLD) and advocates support in schools to ensure good opportunities for dyslexic learners while in education. I am motivated to support the British Dyslexia Association to ensure that children attending school now, and in years to come, will receive a diagnosis and the necessary support at the time they need it most. Dyslexia doesn’t have to be a barrier to learning if it is understood and identified early.
Rory Cowlam, better known as Rory the Vet, has known since the age of four that he wanted to be a vet. His career path was practically written in the stars the day their family dog, a beautiful Blue Dane, was first brought home. It’s Rory’s dedication, determination and warm charisma that has led him to the position he’s in today. After completing his degree in 2015, he has demonstrated the skill and robustness necessary to thrive as a veterinarian, working full-time at the Neighbourhood Vet practice in East Dulwich, London. His passion for animals is tangible, illustrated by the fact that his free time is spent giving back, working with charities like the RSCPA, StreetVet and The Dog’s Trust.
As the lead talent on the CBBC show ‘The Pet Factor’, Rory is a truly respected voice in the Veterinary industry and continues to secure his place in the world of broadcasting. Since the release of his book, ‘The Secret Life of a Vet’, which has been revered and regarded as the Veterinary world’s answer to the book, ‘This is Going to Hurt' by Dr Adam Kay, Rory has shown himself to be a true trailblazer.
Prof Miles Berry - Professor of Computing Education - University of Roehampton
AI for accessibility and inclusion
This session focuses on how artificial intelligence aids in accessibility and inclusion. We'll examine simple machine learning tools like text-to-speech and speech-to-text, discussing their evolution from basic phonics to understanding complex texts. The talk will also cover the use of AI for tasks like simplifying text, summarizing information, and generating ideas. This illustrates AI's role in making information more accessible.
In the second part, we'll discuss the risks of depending too much on AI, including how it might impact learning. We'll reference Vygotsky's theory on learning development to understand the balance between human learning and AI assistance. The session will also touch on AI in image creation and text completion tools like Copilot, exploring their benefits and potential challenges.
Target Audience: Predominantly secondary but with some primary content
Miles Berry is Professor of Computing Education at the University of Roehampton, where he leads the secondary PGCE in computing. Before starting at Roehampton he taught for 18 years, including three years as a head teacher.
He is chair of England's National Centre for Computing Education and serves on the board of Computing At School. Over the years he has contributed to a number of computing related projects including England's national curriculum computing programmes of study and the Royal Society's Mathematical Futures project.
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