Oliver from Delaware Community Primary School launches new book for children with dyslexic difficulties


The fifth book in the Cornwall book project, which encourages children with dyspraxia and dyslexic difficulties to write their own book, was launched in July at Delaware Community Primary School.

When Oliver Marks, who has some dyspraxia, also known as DCD (Developmental Coordination Disorder) and dyslexic difficulties, found that some books suitable for his reading ability didn’t hold any real interest for him, he decided to do something about it – and write his own book.

Oliver has been working incredibly hard with members of staff, his family and with Jane Trapmore from Cornwall Dyslexia Service to create his book about mining in the area.

Oliver has experienced some dyspraxia and dyslexic difficulties in the past but has been working hard at school to overcome them. He has an interest in all things historical and a specific interest in mining in the area; there is an adit very close to where he lives.

He spent time with his dad creating a scrapbook of information about local mining and also attended a two day tourism event with Cornish Mining World Heritage, collecting and researching for the book. He has been an integral part in making the decisions about what items to include, collecting information and then writing it up for the book in his own style and with a sense of humour.

Oliver’s Dad Rob said: “Oliver was a smart lad who couldn’t read very well and couldn’t write.  He didn’t believe in himself and that made me very sad. He used to get angry with his friends when they questioned why he couldn’t do as well as them at school.  He questioned himself when he knew they could do more than him. Picture boards, ideas trees, SAT’s, reports, clay models, quotes on books, he was rubbish! He was always happy, he was always my boy. Jane and the Team have taken the Horrible Histories enthusiasm and combined with it the wonderful support of the World Heritage Site people and produced a work of such wonderful collaboration and inspiration that you are getting a petty good insight into 300 years of Cornish Legend. Oh, and Grandad’s ideas on Knockers!”

Sponsorship has also been kindly provided by Cornish Mining World Heritage, who invited Oliver and his dad to attend the tourism days last summer, but also checked through the text and provided advice and access to photographs. He has also been helped by his family, the support staff and his friends in school who helped with the illustrations throughout the book.

Oliver said: “When you are 10, being 11 can seem like an age away. I was also very happy that I was told at the Doctor’s I was’ix, dyslexic, and dyspraxic, two for the price of one.

Although I still couldn’t spell or catch a ball well, at least I got to spend some time with Jane and Anna who worked very hard to make this very wonderful book a reality. Without them, and my Dad, that would not have been the case. Please enjoy it.”

Anna Linsley, SENCo & ARC Manager at the school said: “Oliver approached the SENCo in September 2012, at the start of Year 6. He was extremely anxious about moving on to Year 7, in a year’s time. After a long chat, in an effort to allay his fears, we decided to map out a year on A3 paper, to demonstrate that a lot can happen in 12 months. When Oliver was offered the opportunity to research and write a book, he was delighted. His enthusiasm with the project has been infectious across the school and we have seen his self-esteem sky rocket!  Through becoming a published author, Oliver has learnt that, although he might find some things difficult, he does have a significant amount to offer the world. We are so proud of him and the completed book.”

Andrew Wallis, Cornwall Council cabinet member for Children and Young People said: “Well done to Oliver and all the people who have helped him for their hard work and dedication in putting this book together. I can’t wait to read it with my son.”

Copies of the book will be available from the school on 01822 832550

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