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Course notes

Sylvie Deshayes, French teacher at Cameron House school, west London, gets to grips with dyslexia

Course Postgraduate certificate in dyslexia and literacy.

Provider The Dyslexia Institute (

Venue The institute's national training and resource centre, Surrey. A day a week for a year, from September 2002.

Cost pound;1,900; half paid myself, half by school.

How did you find out about it?

From institute publicity.

Why go?

I'm interested in special needs and dyslexia, and I wanted to do something different. I wanted to get my brain into gear.

What did it promise?

How to assess pupils, and plan and adapt a teaching programme to suit them.

Did it deliver?

It was very structured, mixing lectures from psychologists and specialists with hands-on observed teaching sessions.

Highs and lows I enjoyed meeting people with the same goals and swapping ideas on how to tackle issues. It was fascinating, but hard work.

Message, motto or mantra Always listen to the children - and be prepared for anything.

Best advice We had some excellent practical sessions on phonological awareness and letter ordering.

Has it made a difference?

I'm much more sensitive to the range of ways to make literacy accessible.

Coming your way?

The Dyslexia Institute runs a series of short and long accredited courses, many available by distance learning. See its website.

Course notes steps down until the autumn term. A new column - Get Active: teachers and their fitness - begins next week

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