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      Our approach

      Our approach to supporting literacy difficulties

      DYT’s mission is to help young people who struggle with reading, writing and language. This group of learners consistently underperform in literacy because of underlying difficulties that are not responsive to standard educational approaches, and may require targeted intervention, either in class or in a small group or individual setting.

      We advocate for the use of evidence-based practice and pride ourselves on having a team of experts who have both current knowledge and experience of working in schools alongside teachers and teaching assistants in both primary and secondary settings.

      We have developed our approach to collaborating with schools around our own Literacy Difficulties Framework, which acts as both a position statement and guidance on recommended practice. In short, our approach is built upon five key arguments:

      The effective teaching of literacy is the foundation of a fully inclusive education for all learners.

      Our approach to inclusive literacy enables schools and organisations to build in pupil-level and structural support for learners with literacy difficulties, prioritising inclusive, high-quality teaching. In line with national expectations, we believe that teachers should have the highest aspirations for every pupil by addressing their starting points and creating a positive and supportive environment. We support teachers to do this through the effective literacy strategies shared in our resources and professional development courses.

      In order to meet the needs of learners, staff need to provide dynamic, targeted and structural support.

      By ‘Dynamic Support’ we mean any variation to standard procedures, criteria and practices, such as providing auxiliary aids or other services to ensure that learners who may have SEND are not at a substantial disadvantage compared with their peers.

      We see ‘Targeted Support’ as any adult supervision which promotes independence and better proficiency in reading, writing and language. This could be carefully planned group or individual sessions with a teaching assistant, for example.

      ‘Structural Support’ emphasises the whole-school nature of teaching literacy, regardless of key stage or setting. This involves a systematic understanding of how we learn, and the impact our learning environment has on engagement and retention.

      Improving literacy outcomes requires the effort of everyone in a teaching team.

      We passionately believe that support staff should be effectively deployed and recognised for their essential role in the teaching team. By raising the status of their support staff and training and deploying them efficiently, schools can strengthen their support of all learners, including those with literacy difficulties.

      All teaching teams should understand how literacy skills develop, and how to practically support them.

      At its core, our approach aims to promote and advise on practical strategies for supporting learners with literacy difficulties. We support schools to do this by identifying techniques to scaffold, model and pre-teach all aspect of literacy across the curriculum, including the use of assistive technology.

      To be truly effective, a literacy strategy needs to embed a whole-school approach.

      We’re confident that our evidence-based approach can enable change at the school level to meet the needs of learners with literacy difficulties. Our Literacy Difficulties Framework articulates our recommendations for effecting positive change in your school. Contact us if you would like to find out more:

      Work with DYT and transform literacy in your school

      Whatever challenges your school or trust is facing in improving literacy or SEND support, our team of consultants can help you think about your next steps, enhance your pedagogical practice, and work with you to create lasting impact that is inclusive of all your learners.

      Using evidence-based approaches drawn from our collective experience, we can provide consultancy in the following areas: a thorough literacy difficulties audit; classroom practice review; analysing learner outcomes; primary teaching and learning; and secondary teaching and learning.

      You will receive clear and concise plans of action with any form of in-school support, and our team of consultants will signpost you to freely available DYT resources and classroom strategies that your staff team can implement immediately.

      To find out more, please contact