By the Numbers
Chiltern Tutorial School
Mission: The Vision and Values section of their website states:
"It is hoped that a child leaving our school will be:
• Well educated with a love of learning, ready to engage with a wider world;
The aim of the school is to provide a happy, supportive and caring environment in which children who are not reaching their potential will be motivated to learn. Children are provided with strategies to build up their self -esteem and to acquire essential skills in order to make a successful return to mainstream education."
Target Students: Chiltern serves children with dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia. Students typically attend the school for 2 to 3 years until they have reached age appropriate literacy skills at which point they are able to return to mainstream schooling. Their website states that "Chiltern School is a small school registered for thirty children, which was established in September 1995, for children with specific learning difficulties (dyslexia.)"
Dyslexia Accommodation: The school uses a "flexible, multi-sensory approach," in teaching dyslexic students. The website also includes an extensive section on "The dyslexia friendly classroom. It is not clear if of all the tips in this section are part of the schools teaching approach, but most appear to be.
The reading program used in the school is the ‘Phono-Graphix’ system of teaching reading and spelling. No detail about this approach is offered.
Teacher Training: According to the 2012 Ofsted report (link abov), the quality of teaching and assessment is good but not outstanding. But the only critique offered was that student results were not outstanding, rather than any issue with teaching methods.
Teachers reportedly, have specialist knowledge of approaches to help pupils who have dyslexia and associated difficulties, though what this knowledge is or the approaches used is not elaborated on. A wide variety of activities which help to capture pupils’ interest are used, which is consistent with the multi-sensory approach. Some of the activities involve students working together and discussing their ideas to further develop pupils’ social and team working skills.
Student Teacher Ratio: NA
Assistive Technology: Students have access to an unspecified "variety of computers which have full-multi-media facilities." The computers are located in a room separate from the main classrooms. There were no details on specific applications available to the students beyond the specified spell checkers, thesaurus and dictaphones.
Financial Aid: NA
Based on information available to us, we have scored the school in six areas of importance to prospective parents and students.
1) Given the limitations of information available to us, the scores
may not accurately represent the school. School administrators or informed
parents and students are welcome to contact us with additional
information and we will update the scorecard accordingly.
2) Scoring is based on specific dyslexic student needs, not on an absolute scale of school quality.
The school's website has recently been updated and includes several student and parent testimonials expressing how well students progress and enjoy their time at school. The website provides few details on the Phono Graphix reading program in use. but does emphasize the use of multi-sensory methods in general.
The school was rated as good overall in the latest Ofsted report (published September 2012). Though in our opinion the report was not very rigorous.
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