Skip Navigation

Emma Perry

PGCert SpLD (Dyslexia)

I was an English teacher in schools for over 20 years and Head of Department and leader in several schools across Warrington, Lancashire and Bolton. In 2019 my husband and I launched Top Grades Education where we offered small group tuition in Maths and English in the local church hall. This summer we are celebrating 3 years in our own tuition centre in the heart of Standish; we are now able to offer tuition in English, Maths and Science. We offer specialist dyslexia tuition, screening and from August 2024 we shall be offering full diagnostic dyslexia assessments.

Why were you interested in the PGCert SpLD (Dyslexia) course?
As most of my career has been spent in secondary schools, I noticed that students would arrive in year 7 and, despite the hard work completed in primary schools, students would still be struggling to read, write and remember details. This sparked a fascination with dyslexia. I was eager to find out more about dyslexia and how it can present so differently in different people.

What inspired you to study the PGCert SpLD (Dyslexia) course at Edge Hill University?
I really wanted to support young people to be able to read, write, learn, and enjoy the whole curriculum. As an English teacher I have always promoted the importance of reading and aimed to encourage a love of Literature, so I was keen to learn techniques to be able to support young people with dyslexia to do the same.

Why did you choose to study at Edge Hill University?
Edge Hill was the perfect choice for me. Although I didn’t complete my own teacher training at Edge Hill University many of my colleagues had and I was aware of Edge Hill University’s excellent reputation. It really is the perfect place to learn anything connected with Education.

What are the top 3 skills the PGCert SpLD (Dyslexia) course is supporting you to develop?
1. Professional inquiry skills
2. Academic writing
3. Skills of data analysis

What insights are you gaining from your current studies and how is this supported by your course tutors?
When I started this course, I realised how much there was to learn about Dyslexia and how this can present in different individuals. Dyslexia is not a ‘one size fits all’ condition, the course has provided fascinating insights into how dyslexia can affect young people differently. One student may struggle to read the words on a page but have a strong memory, another may have strong reading skills yet really struggle with spellings. The tutors were so knowledgeable offering suggestions of texts to read and suggesting resources and techniques to try with learners.

The course tutors have supported me to find useful resources and ideas to support young people with dyslexia and have provided me with the confidence to create quality assessments.

What are you most enjoying about your studies?
Interestingly, my own confidence when analysing data has improved beyond measure.

How has the course supported you in balancing studying and working/working in school?
Tutors were always available to give advice and were flexible with deadlines – incredibly useful when you have a busy schedule.

What’s the best thing about Edge Hill University to you?
I thoroughly enjoyed the sessions on campus at Edge Hill University; a wonderfully tranquil, relaxed place to study. I also enjoyed studying recent research on dyslexia, I found neuroscience particularly fascinating.

How have your PGCert studies support your career progression?
The PGCert is already helping me to understand how to prepare resources to support learners to remember sounds, words, punctuation, and grammar. This supports me to develop lessons for young people using multisensory techniques.

In terms of career progression, I plan to offer dyslexia diagnostic assessments, dyslexia screener tests and specialist dyslexia tuition for schools, parents, and young people as part of our tuition business. I also plan to offer access arrangements assessments for local schools and colleges.

How does the PGCert SpLD (Dyslexia) impact the children and young people or adults that you teach?
The PGCert SpLD (Dyslexia) has provided me with a greater understanding of the challenges young people with dyslexia face. It has also enabled me to find solutions to support young people with their particular learning styles.

What advice would you give to someone considering studying the PGCert SpLD (Dyslexia) at Edge Hill University?
The most useful piece of advice I could give would be to plan time into your weekly schedule to complete the studying and practical tasks necessary for the course.

How has Edge Hill supported you during your degree?
Edge Hill have been flexible with deadlines, I have had regular access to a tutor who has been able to offer lots of advice and I have accessed some of the online sessions provided through Catalyst too. I would highly recommend studying with Edge Hill University.