Opportunities to take part in dyslexia research

We have had a flurry of requests from top universities to help recruit for various dyslexia research projects. Supporting dyslexia research is an important part of what we do here at Helen Arkell because the more that is known about dyslexia, the better we can be at understanding it and providing support.

All the research projects we promote have been approved by the appropriate university ethics committees and, in turn, by us at Helen Arkell.

We have three research projects. If suitable, we would love for you to take part. Some of the projects offer a small financial reward for taking part:

  • Christina at London South Bank University is asking for adults aged 18 to 40 with and without dyslexia to complete a series of questionnaires and verbal and non-verbal cognitive tasks. The study takes place in a lab at London South Bank University (Elephant & Castle campus), and takes approximately 1 hour 30 minutes. The purpose of the study is to compare the performance of people with and without dyslexia on tasks and questionnaires relating to the executive function of planning. Executive functions enable us to pay attention, plan, organise and set goals, for example they enable us to plan a holiday. Christina wants to find out whether individuals with dyslexia have any strengths or difficulties when it comes to planning, organisation and time management. If difficulties are identified, future research can explore interventions and other adjustments that can be made to help the individuals. Find out more.
  • Jovana at the University of Surrey is looking for adolescents with reading difficulties, their parents and teachers to create a panel of experts by experience to help design a research project. Find out more.
  • Manon at the University of Cambridge is running a study into music perception in dyslexia. This study aims to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying speech and music processing (and their potential interactions) in people with and without reading difficulties, with a view to paving the way for new methods of remediation. To carry out this project, he is looking for volunteers aged between 18 and 40 with developmental dyslexia, who are native speakers of English and who are not musicians. Find out more.

New April dates! Supporting Learners with Dyslexia/SpLDs

Supporting Learners with Dyslexia/Specific Learning Difficulties is a very practical online course for Teaching Assistants or anyone supporting learners. You will be shown lots of useful, tried and tested strategies to enable you to support learners effectively. You will also have the opportunity to make attractive, practical resources that you will be able to use with your learners. The course starts on Friday 19 April and comprises six three-hour sessions:

  • Overview of Dyslexia and SpLDs
  • Introduction to Phonological Awareness and Phonics
  • Learning Preferences and Multi-Sensory Teaching
  • Reading Accuracy and Comprehension
  • Spelling and Writing
  • Numeracy

Each session can be booked individually and recordings of sessions will be available if you cannot attend.

Book here

By |2024-04-24T09:29:55+01:00March 2nd, 2024|Course news, Latest news|0 Comments

Research into Augmented Reality for teaching reading

Martyn is a lecturer and Ph.D. student at the University of Greenwich, working within the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences with a focus on Video Games Development. He is currently researching reading and phonics and have developed an augmented reality application designed for phonics instruction. He is reaching out to schools in the hope of gaining expert opinions from teachers and additional learner support professionals regarding the application and its potential applications in teaching phonics.

Are you an education professional who can help with this study? Do you have experience using classroom-based tools and techniques for phonics instruction?

What does the research involve?

  • If you decide to participate in this research, you will be provided with a link to install an app. You will also be provided an associated booklet. You will use the app and consider how the app might function as phonics teaching tool. You can use the app as much, or as little as you like. There is no charge for the app or booklet, and you can keep booklet and app after the study.  The app does not store or collect any personal data.
  • As a participant, you will be invited to join a series of interviews and/or focus groups. Attendance at all sessions is not mandatory; you can participate in the discussions either online or in person. The in-person focus groups will be held at the University of Greenwich, and each session will last no longer than one hour.
  • At this stage, no children are involved.

You can access the Participant Information Sheet here

You can find out more about the app and the study here

You can contact Martyn and join the study by emailing him at m.p.broadhead@greenwich.ac.uk


By |2024-04-24T09:30:05+01:00February 2nd, 2024|Homepage featured, Latest news, Research news|0 Comments

Now on-demand – HELP! course for parents of children with dyslexia

One of the greatest influences on children’s success in learning is the involvement of parents in their education. When a child has a specific learning difficulty like dyslexia, this involvement is even more crucial. Many children who find learning difficult can get frustrated and demotivated which may lead to low self-esteem.

The ‘Hints, Encouragement and Liaison for Parents’ course helps demystify dyslexia and gives practical ideas and strategies to help you support your child at home with their learning.

This online course is now available on demand

The video and handout downloads are then emailed to you and you can watch them at your leisure.

Click here to book.

Free or subsidised courses for lower-income families – please email courses@helenarkell.org.uk

By |2024-04-24T09:30:14+01:00December 24th, 2023|Course news, Latest news|0 Comments

New service for younger children – Literacy Learning Assessment

We are delighted to launch a new assessment service for children who are too young for a dyslexia diagnostic assessment. 

Our Literacy Learning Assessment is aimed at children in Years 1 and 2 (and early into Year 3) who are working below the level of their peers and whose progress is giving cause for concern.

This new service offers a non-diagnostic assessment, by a Helen Arkell Specialist Teacher of reading, writing and spelling skills, as well as some cognitive processing, in order to identify strengths and areas of development, as well as recommendations to support teaching and learning. As a result, appropriate early intervention can be delivered, rather than children having to wait until they are old enough for a formal dyslexia assessment.  

If you feel this would be useful for your child, there are more details and you can make an enquiry here.

We are able to offer financial assistance for this service to families on lower incomes.

By |2024-04-24T09:33:08+01:00June 2nd, 2023|Homepage featured, Latest news|0 Comments

New Spotlight session: There’s More Than One Way to Read a Book

Wednesday 21 June, 6 to 7.30 pm

This talk from our Head of Education, Claire Harvey, will touch on some of the reasons why many learners with dyslexia and related specific learning difficulties struggle with reading, potentially becoming reluctant readers and why reading matters so much. Most importantly, this talk will provide attendees with simple, practical strategies, activities and resources to help improve the reading development of a weaker reader and encourage even the most reluctant reader to re-engage with the wonderful world of reading.

Find out more and book.

By |2024-04-24T09:33:41+01:00March 22nd, 2023|Course news, Latest news|0 Comments

Fantastic donation is EGGSactly what we need!

We were absolutely delighted to welcome Thierry HENry to the Centre in West Street at the beginning of this month. This honoured guest was brought along by the Howard family who also brought a very welcome cheque for the charity for £1,000.

Brian Howard has been organising a charity event in Haslemere since 2017; there have been hogs, hares and hounds and this year was the turn of the hens. Thierry HENry is a three-foot fibreglass model hen – just one of 80 sponsored hens that have been decorated, hilariously named and sold in aid of local and national charities. Other hens included an artistic HENri Matisse, a super-heroic Cluck Kent, a musical EGG Sheeran and a nature-loving David AttHENborough. The events have raised a huge £190,000 since they began.

Thierry HENry is the brainchild of Brian’s grandson Charlie who is an avid Arsenal fan. Eleven-year-old Charlie was diagnosed with dyslexia at here at the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre 18 months ago and decided that his footballer hen should raise money to help children like him to get the support they need.

Charlie’s mum Lorraine said, ‘[the diagnosis] really changed Charlie’s life. We know first-hand what amazing work the charity does supporting children and adults with dyslexia as well as their families. Charlie wanted to give something back.’

Charlie’s dad Douglas is CEO of the Real English Drinks Company which sponsored the Arsenal-kitted hen. The hen was bought by a determined and enthusiastic club fan for an amazing £1,000 – all for the benefit of the dyslexia charity.

Our CEO Andy Cook said, ‘It was so lovely to welcome Thierry HENry and the Howard family and to hear Charlie’s story. He’s proof that the right kind of support can make a world of difference. As a charity, our aim is to make this support available to as many people – children and adults – as we possibly can. The £1,000 donation goes a long way to helping people, so thank you to Charlie, Brian and the family and to the very keen Arsenal fan.’

By |2024-04-24T09:33:42+01:00March 21st, 2023|Fundraising news, Latest news|0 Comments

New dates for HELP! course for parents of children with dyslexia

One of the greatest influences on children’s success in learning is the involvement of parents in their education. When a child has a specific learning difficulty like dyslexia this involvement is even more crucial. Many children who find learning difficult can get frustrated and demotivated which may lead to low self-esteem.

The ‘Hints, Encouragement and Liaison for Parents’ course helps demystify dyslexia and gives practical ideas and strategies to help you support your child at home with their learning.

New dates are available

Online – Tuesday mornings starting 21 March 2023 (recordings are available so you can still sign up!). Click here to book.

We look forward to seeing you soon. Please contact enquiries@helenarkell.org.uk if you have any questions.

**We have free or subsidised places on this course for families on lower incomes.**

By |2024-04-24T09:34:18+01:00December 11th, 2022|Course news, Latest news|0 Comments

New book in – The Art and Science of Teaching Primary Reading

We have a new book in our specialist shop, recommended by Claire Harvey, our Head of Education.

Teaching children to read is one of the most important tasks in primary education and classroom practice needs to be underpinned by a secure foundation of knowledge. Teachers need to know what reading entails, how children learn to read and how it can be taught effectively.

The Art and Science of Teaching Primary Reading is an essential guide for primary teachers that explores the key technical and practical aspects of how children read with strong links to theory and how to translate this into the classroom.

You can order here or pop into the Farnham Centre.

By |2024-04-24T09:35:36+01:00November 1st, 2022|Latest news, Shop news|0 Comments


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