At the launch of the HMIE document Education for learners with dyslexia  I listened with interest to the PT of Support for Learning at Barrhead School, Carol Cutler. She suggested a wealth of practical ideas for supporting young people with dyslexia which I’d like to reproduce here:

·     At Transition times, pupils from S1, S3 and S6 meet with P7 pupils informally with juice and cake, but no members of staff, to explore fears and facts about entering high school.

  • Pupils have permission to email the PT SfL with concerns. Carol assured the audience that this is used by pupils with genuine concerns about their learning or school experience. It means she and her staff can focus on potential difficulties before they became overwhelming.
    • An ‘ASN year group’ took responsibility for the décor of their room and persuaded the HT to provide comfortable chairs.
    • Pupils have the option of carrying a laminated ‘credit’ card stating ‘I am … and I have dyslexia’. This avoids a public declaration.
    • Young people contribute to the confidential information about themselves for circulation to staff.
    • Senior pupils support younger ones socially and with reading.
    • Parents are invited to study skills evenings where they were taught techniques such as Mind Mapping.
    • English teachers ensure that pupils are given warning of passages to be read aloud in class for the next day. Some pupils prefer to be seen to be like everybody else rather than be made to stand out.
    • The department is open over exam leave for independent study in a quiet area.
    • ICT is used extensively
    • A drop-in lunchtime homework club and the opportunity to check in 15 minutes before the start of the school day supports personal organisation.

I have seen many of these working effectively in schools and am grateful to Carol for sharing them with us.

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