Learning aids and teaching materials

Partnership for Literacy

Partnership for Literacy (P4L) Summary overview

Partnership for literacy (P4L) is a whole-school" literacy intervention programme.

This unique initiative uses the specialist knowledge of Dyslexia Action's teachers and the teaching materials it has developed (The Active Literacy Kit and Units of Sound) to develop a sustainable model of support for children who have literacy difficulties, including those associated with dyslexia.

It demonstrates best practice and incorporates whole-school awareness, family learning and apprentice-style training in each partner school.

It aims to increase awareness, understanding and competencies' of staff, governors and parents, and to improve the literacy attainment of children at risk of failing. It is designed to leave expertise and knowledge with the school leadership, Teachers and Teaching Assistants / Learning Support Assistants, ensuring that not just those children involved in the initial programme benefit, but also those in generations to come.

A One stop shop for dyslexia teaching materials and learning aids

Dyslexia Action supplies specialist learning and teaching resources for dyslexia and literacy. These include a complete range of resources for: teaching professionals, psychologists, students (both children and adults) and parents.

We can supply anything from psychological assessment (testing) materials, teaching aids, books and computer-based tools to learning aids for children and adults to use at home.

We strive to provide the most relevant and user-friendly range of products at competitive prices, as well as ensuring that our catalogue and online store are constantly reviewed and updated.

Our resources have been approved and endorsed by our expert panel of teaching staff

As well as developing specialist dyslexia teaching and learning materials, such as our highly acclaimed computer based Units of Sound, we also provide a range of materials from other organisations. To ensure we keep abreast of the ever-expanding market in special needs educational resources, our expert panel of specialist teachers, trainers and psychologists evaluate all new products.

Products to promote:

Understanding Dyslexia by Janet Townend

The second edition of this popular short book is accessible and relevant and ideal as an introduction and practical guide for parents, teachers, teaching assistants, trainers and all those interested in the difficulties experienced by dyslexic students. Many parts updated with new sections on the theories of dyslexia, phonological awareness, and dyslexia in adults. Additional practical ideas for helping and a list of up to date assessment tests are included.

Units of Sound - Professional version

Units of Sound is a multi-sensory, computer-based programme developed by Dyslexia Action to help teach reading and spelling. It combines the benefits of independent work with guidance from a teacher or teaching assistant. It builds reading accuracy, vocabulary, spelling, writing, listening, memory and visual skills as well as comprehension. It is designed for students age 7 to adults.

This specialist tool for the non-specialist teacher now features:

  • screening tests for reading and spelling
  • self-recording for reading
  • dictation sentences and visual memory spelling exercises
  • over 10,000 real voice sounds
  • syllable split feature for multisyllabic words
  • print-off facility on the check-spelling and dictation pages.

This unique, multi-sensory reading intervention programme combines the benefits of independent work on a computer with guidance from a teacher or assistant. Structured, cumulative and multi-sensory, Units of Sound is easy to use for pupils and teachers.

Units of Sound builds: reading accuracy, vocabulary, spelling, sentence writing skills, automaticity, listening skills, visual skills and comprehension. It is designed for students from Key Stage 2 to adult and is produced in three Stage Sets.

Key Benefits:

  • Independent work
  • No individual lesson preparation
  • Built in over-learning and revision
  • No need for 1:1 teacher/pupil ratio

Stage 1: Basic (from cvc)
Stage 2: Functional (from blends and diagraphs)
Stage 3: Independent (multi-syllable)

Specification: PC use only, Windows'95, and above. Pentium PC with sound card.

Download our 'Units with Sounds' poster

Active Literacy Kit

Age Range : 5+
Key Stage :
Key Stage 2
Key Stage 3
Key Stage 4

Learning Objectives:
Support For Children With Literacy Difficulties
Structured Activities

Developed by Dyslexia Action, the Active Literacy Kit is designed to support all children of 7 years and over who experience literacy difficulties, whether dyslexic or not. The programme offers a series of timed exercises which build the foundation skills needed for automatic, fluent and accurate reading and spelling. Carefully structured activities cover phonological awareness, word recognition, phonics, graphic knowledge and spelling. The Active Literacy Kit may also be used as a link to the Units of Sound program. Contains teacher's handbook, exercise guide, placement test and exercise cards, A4 reading card, rhyme and alliteration book, vowel discrimination book, reading and spelling book, spelling completion teacher book, pack of 10 spelling completion pupil books (extras available separately), 144 playing cards, blindfold and number counters, all stored in a carry case

DIY Readers Support Pack

The DIY Readers' Support Pack for parents has been developed by the Dyslexia Institute with parents in mind. However, it will prove a very useful resource for teaching assistants. It takes into account extensive research evidence about the best way to support children who struggle from the very beginning to 'catching on' with reading. The pack offers a balanced approach to learning to read:

  • early skills training – a series of structured exercises to establish sound to letter links and early sound blending
  • reading activities – a range of activities for practicing and extending reading skills using books from home and school

Suitable for children who are beginning to learn to read and those who need additional help.

The pack comes complete with a 52-page booklet containing a series of carefully prepared timed exercises and activities together with guidance for parents and/or carers. Also included are a 25 minute explanation film on DVD, 144 (64 x 51mm) cards made up of a Picture Alphabet card pack (26 cards), a Lower Case Alphabet card pack (26 cards), an Upper Case Alphabet card pack (26 cards), a Vowel card pack (6 cards), Days of the Week card pack (7 cards), Months of the Year card pack (12 cards) and Short Word Endings card pack (41 cards), and a stopwatch.

Dyslexia Institute Literacy Programme

Below are sample pages from DILP (Dyslexia Institute Literacy Programme) used by specialist teachers at Dyslexia Action centres and as the literacy programme of choice on our Postgraduate Certificate in Dyslexia and Literacy.

Currently, the full manual is only available for teachers trained in DILP on one of Dyslexia Action's training courses. See training.dyslexiaaction.org.uk.

Some of the techniques used by this programmes are illustrated on video on viddler.com/dyslexiaaction.


Download our Partnership for Literacy Report 2010 (Powerpoint document)

Download our 'Units with Sounds' poster (PDF)

Download 'Dyslexia Institute Literacy Programme' Manual sample (PDF, Zipped)