Certificate in Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia) for Support Assistants *Online
Duration: 12 months||Start month: Taking expressions of interest
About the Course
This module supports practitioners to achieve the understanding and practical experience required to be a specialist Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) (Dyslexia) support assistant. Upon successful completion of module 1, students can apply to the British Dyslexia Association (BDA) for Accredited Learning Support Assistant (ALSA) status in line with BDA guidance.
This module will begin to explore an understanding of key issues related to dyslexia and information, research and theory associated with barriers to learning and participation encountered by pupils with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD). It will consider the use of different approaches to teaching pupils with SpLD (Dyslexia) in the classroom.
Note: It is not intended to suggest that the support assistants who complete the course should function independently or supplant the teacher’s responsibilities.
How to Apply
To apply or for more information please contact:
Tel: 0151 291 3834/3029/3061
Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information. This programme is subject to ongoing development. Changing circumstances or changing requirements of accreditation bodies may necessitate alteration to, or the cancellation of, courses. The University reserve the right to make changes if such action is considered by the University to be necessary.
The Certificate in Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia) for Support Assistants is accredited by the British Dyslexia Association (BDA).
This module will enable practitioners to know and understand the implications of:
1. Background awareness and knowledge:
- of theories of teaching and learning as applied to SpLD (dyslexia);
- knowledge and understanding of how SpLDs are manifested in the classroom;
- of screening and assessment procedures for SpLD (dyslexia);
- understanding of how assessment relates to the design of appropriate learning programmes for pupils with dyslexia and other SpLD (dyslexia);
- knowledge of the range of approaches and resources suitable for the support of pupils with dyslexia and other SpLDs.
2. Necessary skills:
- ability to employ a range of approaches and resources suitable for the support of pupils with dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties;
- ability to communicate effectively with the pupil both in support of learning and in encouraging the growth of self-esteem and independence;
- ability to select and/or construct suitable materials;
- ability to record and report pupils' response to support;
- ability to communicate effectively with significant others e.g. teachers, parents, SENCos.
3. Develop a working knowledge of:
- the role and function of support professionals;
- key aspects of the National Curriculum (or equivalent in the devolved nations);
- the contemporary Code of Practice (or equivalent in the devolved nations);
- LEA policy and practice with regard to SpLDs;
- the role and application of IT in supporting learning.
The module will also ensure personal and professional qualities are explored throughout the module and associated assessment. A core aspect of the course is the development of practical skills. Participants learning will include how to teach using a structured, multi-sensory approach; how to design and evaluate learning games and activities; how to reflect upon background information; how to plan and evaluate support activities.
Participants will be required to complete a set of minimum requirements including a minimum of 32 hours of contact time in lectures, seminars and tutorial. Participants will complete a reflective essay and a reflective eportfolio. Examples of the content of the reflective eportfolio include:
-20 hours of specialist teaching and accompanying annotated lesson plans and evaluations;
- A short reflective task;
- Examples of constructed support materials;
- Observation reports completed by a suitable school mentor (a Headteacher/SLT member or SENCo or member of staff holding active AMBDA) of the support assistant students specialist teaching;
- Recordings of specialist teaching practice accompanied by detailed session plans and evaluations;
The eportfolio will promote the development of a reflective writing task evaluating one learners’ response to the specialist SpLD (dyslexia) support programme, which clearly connects with elements of the specialist support assistant role.
- Applicants must be a support assistant (includes professionals employed as teaching assistants) working in a UK mainstream setting with appropriately aged learners (learners aged 6-13 years).
- Course applicants must have a minimum of one years’ relevant school based professional experience in supporting learners of a school age (6-13 years) including support with Literacy/English; Numeracy/Mathematics.
- Applicants must hold Enhanced DBS clearance (or equivalent in the devolved nations) in line with Liverpool Hope University guidance.
- Written supportive statement (on headed paper) from the applicants Headteacher confirming:
- the applicant’s suitability as a specialist support assistant for the duration of the course and confirmation that they satisfy the Disclosure and Barring Service’s (DBS) mandatory criteria of ‘Clearance to Work with Children and/or Vulnerable Adults’;
- that the applicant is able to work in a one to one situation with appropriate pupils/ learners (aged between 6-13 years of age) for the duration of the course in the school;
- acknowledgement that they and the applicant are aware that relevant permission from parents/Headteachers will be required before any specialist teaching commences. Guidance regarding this will be provided by Liverpool Hope University;
- acknowledging applicants will be enabled to attend induction sessions (to be held via zoom, each with a duration of approximately 1.5 hours) which will allow applicants to prepare for study at Higher Education level;
- acknowledgement that applicants will be provided the time to attend the synchronous course meetings of 8 x 4-hour meetings (to be held via Zoom) plus 1 optional face to face meeting (duration of approximately 4 hours) at Liverpool Hope University Campus;
-acknowledgment from the Headteacher that the in school mentor training will be completed by the identified member of staff before the module commences.
- A written statement of support from an appropriate in-school mentor (a Headteacher or member of the senior leadership team or SENCO or a member of staff who holds active AMBDA). This statement will acknowledge that the in-school mentor will support the applicant for the duration of the course following the guidance provided by Liverpool Hope University and will attend 2 sessions of asynchronous mentor training (each being approximately 1 hour in duration) with Liverpool Hope University before the module commences.
- 96 UCAS points*. The UCAS points must come from a minimum of two A Levels (or equivalent). Additional points can be made up from a range of alternative qualifications (recognised as UCAS Tariff points) OR admission via successful completion of an alternative entrance assessment. *Applicants do not need to make an application for this course via UCAS.
- All applicants must hold a minimum of Grade C in GCSE (or equivalent) Mathematics and English.
- All applicants will need to ensure they can access the relevant resources which will be based on guidance from Liverpool Hope University/the BDA.
International Entry Requirements
For students whose first language is not English there is a language requirement of IELTS 6.5 overall with 6.0 minimum of all components. In addition to this, we also accept a wide range of International Qualifications, for more information please visit our English Language Requirements page.
For additional information about country specific entry requirements visit the your country pages.
Teaching and Research
- Online synchronous learning of at least 32 hours of lectures/webinars/meetings;
- Workplace learning and practical activities;
- Reading and reflection;
- Academic tutorial support, practice-based dialogue;
- Mentoring from school-based mentors;
- Critical debate with peers e.g. in seminars or through VLE discussion groups;
- Support from schools;
There will be 1 optional face to face meeting which will take place on the Liverpool Hope University (LHU) campus (dependent on minimal numbers of students attending).
UK/EU Tuition Fees
We offer a number of scholarships and loans to help fund your postgraduate studies. Visit our scholarships pages for more details.
Successful completion of all aspects of module 1 will enable participants to apply to the BDA for Accredited Learning Support Assistant (ALSA) status in line with BDA guidance.
Note: there is an additional cost associated with this.