I have been a long-standing customer of Crossbow Education. They are by far the most innovative and practical supplier of this type of resource. They are always ahead of the game in developing resources that match current research in this area. I consistently and confidently recommend them to parents and to teachers. The resources also represent very good value for money and are always attractive, fun and interesting for children to use.
Dr Gavin Reid, Psychologist, Author, Conference Speaker
The Swindon Dyslexia-SpLD Service oversees the dyslexia provision for 80 schools in Swindon, on behalf of Swindon Borough Council, representing over 18,000 children and young people. We identify learning needs relating to dyslexia and, more broadly, literacy difficulties and recommend corresponding support strategies and resources.
Taken from our experience of training teachers and SENCos in Swindon schools (we have trained over 150 education professionals already this school year), Crossbow Education are becoming synonymous in Swindon with visual stress support, and their reading rulers are used in the majority of our schools at both primary and secondary ages.
During dyslexia awareness training sessions, for example, those that have supported pupils using reading rulers, frequently recommend them to the other teachers present as a durable, inexpensive product that can have startling results. Schools we visit as part of Swindon’s Dyslexia Friendly Schools initiative compile ‘help yourself’ resource packs, which prominently feature reading rulers. Other schools provide them at pupil tables, and their use is seemingly as ubiquitous as the pencil (in fact, to prevent arguments, one teacher even allowed every child in the class to use a reading ruler, and reported amazement at some of the results!) And children referred to the service have arrived at literacy checks clutching both their reading book and accompanying reading ruler, evidently as their ‘bookmark’ of choice!
But more than the products, Crossbow Education ‘go the extra mile’ to support us in our awareness-raising of visual stress: their website is excellent (and again is cited by our teachers) and Bob Hext of Crossbow has visited us in Swindon, to deliver extremely enjoyable visual stress sessions at our first two annual SpLD conferences.
Simply put, as a direct result of Crossbow’s work, we know of schools that now use Crossbow’s coloured-paper exercise books to good effect, and others that have gone on to screen all their children with the Crossbow “Visual Stress Assessment Pack”. They are frequently excited by the benefits observed, and often let us know.
Finally, from our training work with Professors Arnold Wilkins and Bruce Evans, two of the leading researchers into visual stress and the use of coloured overlays for reading, we understand how deceptively simple products such as Crossbow’s support those with visual processing difficulties.
Ian Abbot, Head of Service, SpLD Advisory team
“I work in schools and in private practice specialising in teaching those with specific learning difficulties such as Dyslexia, I am also a trained Irlen Screener. Crossbow Education have provided a personalised service and consideration for a client however small the potential order might be. I have been particularly impressed with their interest and help in supplying coloured Maths and English books which help alleviate the difficulties some of my students experience. Communication over the telephone, by e-mail and face-to-face at Educational events with Crossbow Education has convinced me that this company care about the individual with specific learning difficulties and are interested in feedback from “the chalk face”.
(Julie Yaxley (MA, AMBDA, ATS, Certified Irlen Screener)
I am a Handwriting tutor, working with schools and individual children. The resources provided by Crossbow are excellent. What is especially pleasing is the way Bob and Anne Hext listen to their customers and then create new materials to support teaching needs. The ordering service is superb, communication is very clear and deliveries are super quick. A five star company!!
(Pamela Hume, National Handwriting Association)
As a specialist teacher as assessor for specific learning difficulties, I was very fortunate to come across the work of Bob Hext and Crossbow Education, several years ago. Firstly, and on a more personal level, what a nice guy Bob is and more importantly, what a helpful company Crossbow education really is.
The reading rulers within my field of work have proved to be invaluable and have certainly facilitated reading progression where visual stress is present. The discomfort caused by reading dense black print on white paper, the ‘flickering lights and shadows’ surrounding letters is experienced by one of my current students, Maddy. So I think that is important that she expresses how much the products from Crossbow Education have certainly helped her …
“ …. The words look different, they won’t stay still and then I start to see ‘rivers in the text’ when I try to concentrate on text books at my school. Sometimes it looks like the words are almost 3D and with little lights behind them. I try blinking a lot to get the words back into focus and then sometimes I even see colours round the text. But then when I started to use the blue reading ruler, the “weirdness” went away … “
Thanks Bob for your amazing and tireless dedication in working within this field, for sharing your passion and expertise but more importantly, for making a difference.
Glynis Allen AMBDA MA Specific Learning Difficulties.
Dyslexia Assessor and Tutor, Manchester College.
I recommend Crossbow products to teachers who attend my whole school training and my conferences and workshops in the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. Apart from the quality of the products and the eclectic range of materials on offer, I also tell teachers that they can contact Bob Hext through his website and be sure of receiving excellent advice. This is especially important to teachers trying to do a great deal with limited funding. The research base that informs all of Crossbow’s products is thus made available in a way that supports and encourages purchasers to buy with confidence. I unreservedly recommend Crossbow to you as a worthy recipient of this award.
Neil MacKay MEd, DipSp Ed, AMBDA
Action Dyslexia Training and Consultancy