Ladybrook Primary School and Nursery: The first school to be awarded ‘The Stockport Dyslexia Friendly School Award’
Ladybrook Primary School and Nursery have achieved a milestone in its commitment to providing opportunities for learning without limits, being named Stockport’s first school to receive Stockport’s own Dyslexia Friendly Status. I Love Bramhall sat down with deputy headteacher Caroline Woosnam for all the details on this recent success and how it reinforces the school’s focus on inclusivity for all.
Over the past two years, Ladybrook Primary School and Nursery have been making changes, both to teaching strategies and within the school environment, to ensure that life is as straightforward as possible for children with dyslexia. These changes – including colour-coding classroom equipment, using images alongside text and ensuring writing is easier to read – have been embraced by the entire school, and all teaching and support staff have been trained and assessed in dyslexia-friendly practices.
One of the first schools in Stockport to pilot the initiative, Ladybrook underwent rigorous assessment before receiving Dyslexia Friendly Status, with parents, children and staff all being interviewed as part of the process. Work and practices were assessed, with assessors spending an entire day in the school. All Ladybrook students are now taught in the same dyslexic friendly way, and a focus on speaking is promoted to help children build on their strengths.
Ladybrook’s recent accolade aligns with the school’s vision to help children develop as successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors. A restorative approach is taken to learning, with children encouraged to think and reflect, solve problems, build connections and help one another through reciprocal learning. Pupils have the opportunity to put into practice what they learn in a number of ways, too – not just through their classwork but also via transferable and interpersonal skills.
Children show visitors around the school as ambassadors – around 70 parents at the last open day. In the summer term year 6 students have the opportunity to plan and deliver their own lesson, using Caroline’s strategies for guidance. There is a real focus at Ladybrook Primary School and Nursery on developing skills for the future through a spiral curriculum – skills, knowledge, application.
From the dyslexia-friendly display in the entrance hall to the open-plan layout, the indoor slide in the library to the interactive assemblies (known as Rainbow Time), Ladybrook Primary School and Nursery is a little bit different – in a good way. Actually, in an outstanding way – but don’t just take our word for it, check out the school’s Ofsted rating for proof!
The school is very much committed to inclusivity, diversity and helping children develop their skillsets. Pupils are encouraged to become independent, resilient learners and access resources to support their own learning, both through traditional subjects and via enrichment activities that take place regularly.
On Fridays, children take part in one of the learning opportunities that enhance their school experience, including additional dance, orienteering, additional French and unusual sports like extreme Frisbee. There’s also a Forest School area outdoors with a pond for dipping, complete with a dedicated Forest School teacher, Denise, who has just taken her Level 3 qualification. Good luck, Denise!
Next on the agenda at Ladybrook is the creation of a sensory garden, in which the children will be able to grow their own fruit and veg for use in the kitchens and during cookery lessons. The garden will also include a calm ‘thinking’ space and a storytelling area, with fundraising activities due to get underway this year.
Ongoing is the school’s Inspiring the Future initiative, which encourages parents and past pupils to come in and share their experiences of the working world. Through this initiative, children become aware of new industries and job roles and learn that not everyone follows the same path in life. These visits open children’s eyes to their career potential and Ladybrook welcomes contact from people in the community who would like to get involved.
To find out more about Ladybrook Primary School and Nursery, or to get in touch, use the links below. I Love Bramhall would like to wish the best of luck to all the Ladybrook pupils taking part in the cross country nationals very soon!