One in six people in the UK has a specific learning difficulty which prevents them from fulfilling their potential. The Dore Centre has a programme which some schools are using.

Bishop Douglass in East Finchley has a higher than average number of pupils who need extra support with literacy and language acquisition. The staff decided to trial the programme with a small group of pupils in years 7, 8 and 9 who were not fulfilling their potential.

The Dore Centre has developed a programme of exercises to improve the function of the cerebellum, the part of the brain which plays a major role in co-ordination and concentration and helps to make skills become automatic.

At the Dore centre in Stratford upon Avon parents and children and accompanying staff were all interviewed and the children had assessments for balance and for eye tracking and a neurological examination from a doctor who also took a medical history. Each child has a programme of exercises to follow and has one to one sessions of exercises for 15 minutes each day between 8 and 11 in the morning and 2.30 – 3.30 in the afternoon. The school is keen to minimise disruption to lessons so sessions are timetabled to avoid the core subjects of science, English and mathematics and some children go in early to do their first session before school starts.

Mary is in year 9 at Bishop Douglass. She had deep rooted organisational problems which meant she could not get to school on time, settle to class work, manage time or complete course work. Best of all, pupils can see a difference. Mary said, “Dore has helped me a lot. I am happy for what Dore has done for me. I feel confident about more things.”

dore child pic

Advantages of the Dore programme

• It often improves balance, eye tracking and concentration
• It can be useful for pupils with dyspraxia and dyslexia
• Staff report an improvements in attention
• One pupil noticed that as his balance improved
• It can improve handwriting

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