Skip to content ↓
The Unicorn School

The Unicorn School

A Specialist School supporting pupils with dyslexia and related learning difficulties


Clare Roberts and Rachael McMullen are in their second year of running the Associate Membership of the British Dyslexia Association (AMBDA) in liaison with Oxford Brookes University. It is for those who have specialised in supporting children with Specific Literacy Difficulties (SpLD) who are Level 7 (which is masters level) trained.

The Course Outline:

  • Candidates attend 4 three hour sessions at The Unicorn School.
  • We present and discuss areas such as how to administer standardised assessments, how to mark assessments and interpret results alongside qualitative observations on the assesse.
  • Candidates assess three pupils and then write up full diagnostic reports for each pupil. They work out what strengths and needs the pupil has.
  • We share good practice for reading, spelling, comprehension, handwriting, writing, working memory and language. Candidates then teach their pupils and at the end of the intervention they measure how effective it was; reflecting upon what went well and what they would do differently in future.

By the end of the one year course the candidates have written 3 full diagnostic reports, done 30 hours teaching, submitted 1 hour of video evidence of them assessing and 3 hours of video evidence of them teaching. They also produce a portfolio for each pupil with their lesson plans and reflections upon their teaching.

When candidates arrive at The Unicorn School they are already qualified to assess for and apply for Access Arrangements. These are exam arrangements for pupils with SpLD, for example extra time, a scribe or a reader. At the end of the AMBDA course not only do they have a top qualification in Dyslexia but they can also apply for their Assessment Practising Certificate (APC), which means they are qualified to diagnose if a person has dyslexia.

Last year 6 candidates achieved their AMBDA including 2 members of staff from The Unicorn School. This year we have a group of 11 candidates who teach and assess children of all ages from far and wide and we have 2 more Unicorn teachers doing the AMBDA this year, so the level of expertise at The Unicorn School continues to grow.