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Upcoming conference Dr Tilly Mortimore


Dyslexia & Literacy Difficulties in the Adolescent Learner

Dr Tilly Mortimore

HPCSA Awards 6 CEUs (Level 1)


Tilly has worked in schools and individually with dyslexic students of all ages, lectured across Europe, Africa and India and developed and established Master’s level courses in Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) and Dyslexia for several universities.  She is on the accreditation board of the British Dyslexia Association.  She has provided consultancy, workshops and training on a variety of topics including dyslexia, literacy, speech and language difficulties, learning style, study skills and dyslexia friendly practice, in many educational and other settings. 

Her books include "Dyslexia and Learning Style: A practitioner's handbook" (2008) and, with Jane Dupree, “ Dyslexia-Friendly Practice in the Secondary Classroom” (2008). She has contributed many articles, book chapters and research projects covering dyslexia, inclusion, approaches to learning and children with English as an additional language.  She is currently researching the impact of ICT use on teenaged readers with dyslexia. She is a Senior Lecturer in Inclusion/SpLD/dyslexia at Bath Spa University.


Place Bellavista School, 35 Wingfield Ave, Birdhaven, JHB
Date 15 May 2018
Time 08h30-16h00  (Registration at 08h00)
Cost R1800.00 per person



Keynote: Adolescents with Dyslexia: Risk, Resilience and Opportunity

Teenagers with dyslexia face special challenges connected with the changes they face physically, emotionally and practically.  Early adolescence may also be the time when dyslexic-type difficulties with literacy and academic work combine with emotional uncertainties to undermine confidence and increase stress.  This session will explore the nature of dyslexic differences at this frequently challenging stage and highlight principles upon which schools and families can provide support.


Supporting Study Skills in the Senior Primary and High School Classroom

Trying to understand how adolescents feel is helpful but we need to provide practical strategies to develop independent learners who can take control of their learning across the curriculum. This session will highlight some of the trickier aspects of later school learning for dyslexic learners and provide a range of approaches for students and teachers to try out in the quest to help them to take control of their learning.


Breakaway Sessions

Including a Choice of Two:

Topic Description Presenter
Thinking Maps This workshop will demonstrate how independent use of Thinking Maps can assist students in literacy.  Through making thinking visible on these maps, metacognition is developed and students are able to organise their thinking. The use of combinations of maps to deepen ability in literacy will be modelled.

Katy Mthethwa
Katy began her teaching career in the UK after graduating from Kingston University with a BA (Hons) in Primary Education.  She moved to South Africa in 2007 to marry her South African husband, Tony. Katy was the Head of Thinking Skills at St Peter’s School in Johannesburg where she implemented the use of Thinking Maps, Blooms Taxonomy and a range of other tools to develop Higher Order Thinking across the curriculum.  This led to St Peter’s being accredited as a Thinking School by Exeter University in 2014.

Katy is passionate about curriculum development which has a Thinking Philosophy at its core.  She is an accredited Thinking Maps trainer and a founder member of Thinking Schools South Africa (TSSA) for whom she has developed the Bloom's Taxonomy training material.


Using Technology to Support Learners with Literacy Difficulties

Mobile devices whether used for literacy instruction or to assist a person with learning difficulties make differences ordinaryWinters and Cheeseman, In Perspectives on Language and Literacy (Part I) Fall Edition, 2013 (P. 45).

Technology can open access to education for learners with dyslexia because it is customisable, accessible and integrated. Technology allows these learners the fundamentals of inclusive practice as it provides multiple means of representation, engagement action and expression. This workshop will create the case for ICT as a support for the learner with dyslexia, make suggestions for suitable apps and devices and share the pitfalls and possibilities candidly.


Alison Scott
Alison is the Principal of Bellavista and by extension of this role, she oversees a vibrant post-graduate training college that equips educators and allied health professionals to identify and intervene with learners presenting with Dyslexia. Further, she heads an assessment centre where multi-disciplinary teams assess children aged 3 – 18 to establish learning potential and recommend best intervention if necessary. Alison has been an educator for over 25 years across all phases of formal schooling age 6 – 18.
Exam Accommodations This presentation will examine how accommodations in South Africa are helping to move inclusion from theory to reality.  It will explore the different accommodations available to learners, particularly those with literacy difficulties and dyslexia, as well as outlining the process of applying for accommodations, with an emphasis on GDE and IEB accommodations in particular. 

Karen Archer
Karen works at Bellavista as an Educational Psychologist for both the School and the SEEK Assessment Centre. Her roles include providing therapy as well as intellectual and emotional assessment. In addition, Karen is a lecturer and assessor on the Award in Literacy and Dyslexia course. Prior to becoming a psychologist, she worked as a senior primary teacher for 10 years both abroad and in South Africa.


Curriculum Differentiation This presentation will focus on the principles of differentiation with practical suggestions and strategies to ensure that the needs of all learners are met, in particular those with literacy difficulties and dyslexia. Attendees will leave with a deeper appreciation of the aims curriculum modification as well as tools to ensure that their classroom practice is inclusive.

Jeandré Cooke
Jeandré is the Director of Bellavista S.H.A.R.E. Prior to this, she worked as an Assistant Headteacher in a mainstream secondary school in London, where she taught pupils aged 11-19. Her expertise lies in the inclusion of children with difficulties in the mainstream classroom. In this presentation, she will draw on her experience as a Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO) and educator.


Film: A Journey into Dyslexia

In Journey into Dyslexia, adults revisit painful childhood memories of feeling different, being ostracised by peers, being ignored or even demeaned by educators and struggling to meet academic norms. Among the notable dyslexic adults who recount their struggles and triumphs in the film are: consumer advocate Erin Brockovich; Ben Foss, inventor of the Intel Reader; Steve Walker, New England Pellet founder and CEO; micro sculptor Willard Wigan; and Dr. Carol Greider, 2009 Nobel Laureate in Physiology and Medicine. They describe dyslexia as “a gift” and “a wonderful form of intelligence” that facilitated their success.


Fleur Durbach
This session will be facilitated by Fleur Durbach, who is a Deputy Principal at Bellavista School and an experienced teacher and remedial therapist. Fleur is the head of the school’s assessment centre (SEEK) and a lecturer on the Award in Literacy and Dyslexia Course.
Working Memory & Anxiety

Working memory difficulties are common among children with dyslexia but for adolescents, particularly for those who have not received appropriate support, working memory difficulties may be compounded by high levels of anxiety. This presentation will explore the relationship between working memory and anxiety and discuss practical ways of supporting working memory in children with dyslexia.


Debbie Catto
Debbie Catto is both a supervising and assessing psychologist for Bellavista S.E.E.K. She is also an Educational Psychologist in private practice with experience in assessment, play therapy and literacy support to children identified as dyslexic.



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