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Pontville Blog 169: Staff learn top tips

21 April 2023

Staff from Pontville School recently attended the Dyslexia Show in Birmingham, which focused on awareness and understanding of dyslexia in education, parenting and the workplace.

The Team was made up of education clinical staff, who had the pleasure of attending seminars led by professionals, and here are some of the highlights. 

Samantha Garner: Principles of Positive Psychology

Samantha spoke about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, including tools that can be used to develop a positive mindset, which can lead to positive mental health and wellbeing. She gave a memorable analogy about spoons… 

Imagine everyone starts the day with 20 spoons. A neurotypical person might use 2 spoons before school or work each morning. A neurodiverse person might use 4 or 5. At the end of the day, a neurotypical might get home with about 4 spoons left to enjoy their evening. Whereas, a neurodiverse person has no spoons left at all; or may even have used extra spoons, that they didn’t have to begin with. 

Myles Pilling: Assistive Technology in the classroom

Myles suggested using hardware and software that helps pupils learn and record their thoughts and ideas and provided useful strategies for implementing these in the classroom. 

Dr Gavin Reid: Learning Strategies and Classroom Approaches 

Dr Reidd spoke about practical suggestions on learning strategies that can be utilised by children and young people with dyslexia, including how to support them as they move towards self-sufficiency and autonomy in learning. He spoke about the impact of environment, assessment, responses (intervention) and neuro-flexibility. 

Jenn Clark: Structured Fluency 

Jenn gave an overview of reading, in-particular, fluency and how it relates to reading a comprehension. 

Neil MacKay: Flexible Responses to Diverse Learning Needs

Neil spoke about flexible responses to diverse learning needs stating, “If they aren’t learning, we aren’t teaching.”

English Teacher Rachel Doherty, who attended the show shared her thoughts: 

"If a child can’t learn the way we teach, we should teach the way they learn."


Staff and members from the Clinical Team. Rachel Doherty - English Teacher, Dr Bridget Carroll - Educational Psychologist, Rebecca Roughley - Literacy Coordinator and Neomi Calvert - Assistant Psychologist

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