WESFORD 1 – Wiltshire Early Screening for Dyslexia (2nd Ed)
To identify potentially dyslexic children and provide them with additional support, further assess their profile of strengths and weaknesses with dyslexia in mind and equip teachers to meet their individual needs within the classroom. (Screening)
WESFORD – Wiltshire Early Screening for Dyslexia - has been designed and produced by advisory teachers for dyslexia in Wiltshire together with teacher, educational psychologist and speech and language therapist colleagues. Its aim is to provide user-friendly and inexpensive materials and resources for primary class teachers and teaching assistants to use in the classroom. This revised and improved 2nd Edition of WESFORD 1 incorporates the latest advice emerging from the Rose Report and subsequent government initiatives, as well as further refinements based on teachers’ needs and responses.
In 2007, following the recommendations of the Independent Review of the Teaching of Early Reading by Jim Rose (2006) the DfES published the Primary National Strategy’s Letters and Sounds, providing a programme of high quality phonics teaching for the early years. The central importance of phonological skills is stressed and Phase One of WESFORD is devoted to their development. This Phase recognises the developmental progression through awareness of syllabic rhythm in spoken language (Letters and Sounds Phase One, Aspects 3 and 4), to rhyme and alliteration (Aspects 4 and 5), towards the central skills of phoneme blending and segmentation (Aspect 7).
The introduction of grapheme-phoneme correspondences alongside oral blending and segmentation of phonemes, reflected in the ‘linkage’ games in WESFORD 1 Phonological Skills Programme, begins in Phase Two and is structured through to Phase 6. Letters and Sounds aims to enable most children to become fluent readers by age seven.
Although this intensive, structured, developmentally sound approach is generally highly effective, it remains likely that many dyslexic learners, especially those with very marked differences in their cognitive profiles, will struggle to learn at the pace of their peers and may have persisting difficulties with phonological and early literacy skills that leave them further and further behind. Where this is the case, the need for additional, new resources in Years 1 and 2 can be met by the Phonological Skills Programme in Stage A of WESFORD 1.
The need to further investigate their differences in order to provide additional support where needed, can be met, too, by the assessment procedures in Stage B of WESFORD 1. WESFORD 1 and WESFORD 2 – The Dyslexia Resources File have been in use in Wiltshire and Swindon schools for some years and have met with great enthusiasm and success.