Appleford, a specialist school for children with dyslexia or dyspraxia, has high aims for its pupils. The first thing you notice about Appleford School, in Shrewton is the amount of smiling faces from both pupils and staff. The atmosphere is incredibly friendly, a feeling which is compounded by its new Headmistress Lesley Nell. "We are a close knit school community,” she says, “offering specialist education to dyslexic students. Our whole school approach to dyslexia is to restore confidence, unlocking and developing the individual skills and talents of the children.”

Learning Disability Week runs from Monday 22nd to Sunday 28th June and is a national campaign by Mencap. It provides a great chance to raise awareness about the issues that are important to people with learning disabilities and those of their families and carers. To coincide with Learning Disability Week, Dr Peter Gardner, one of the UK’s foremost authorities on dyslexia, has launched a free factsheet for parents called “Getting Help for Your Special Needs Child”. “The parents of many children with special educational needs are unaware of their rights when it comes to educational provision” says Dr Peter Gardner, Chartered Educational Psychologist and Founder Director of Appleford School in Shrewton, Wiltshire (one of the country’s leading schools for children with dyslexia).

18th-22nd May has been designated as "Xtraordinary Week". The aim is to raise awareness, and focus on the strengths and talents, of dyslexic children everywhere. To coincide with the awareness week I have written a free Fact Sheet on Dyslexia which provides information about the condition. Children who have dyslexia can have problems with reading, writing or spelling. It is believed that one in 10 children have some form of dyslexia, which is Greek for "difficulty with words". Parents naturally want the best for their children. They know that good literacy skills are the building blocks to educational success and a satisfying career. But many parents are in the dark about their child's special educational needs and how best to help them.

Appleford has been selected as the first junior school in the world to test 'ginger spell' software. The software which will shortly be installed on all Appleford's computers allows pupils to 'automically correct unusual spelling mistakes, misused words and correct grammatical errors plus others.