Uncertainty is the name of the game at the moment for most of us, and no more so than in schools. Lockdown forced us to find new ways of learning and teaching, but the fortitude shown and the willingness to adapt by all have been remarkable.
None of this will be a surprise to anyone, but enquiries to our helpline since March have consistently been from:
- Parents worried about how to support their dyslexic child with home learning, or voicing concerns around mental health and transition.
- Teachers wanting to know more about how to support dyslexic pupils from home and in the return to school.
Most often, we have directed teachers to the Online Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit and modules, as well as our new "At home with Dyslexia Scotland" YouTube playlist. Soon after lockdown began, we also decided to hold our annual education conference as an online event, to allow as many teachers as possible to take part.
In the classroom: 5 ways to support dyslexic pupils in your class
A student's view: 4 ways to help dyslexic students on their return from the Covid lockdown
Our theme for this year’s conference, on Saturday 3 October, is "The Inclusive Classroom". Keynote speaker Neil Mackay, an author and consultant and trainer at Action Dyslexia, who will explore writing skills for reluctant writers and inclusive reading approaches.
Other workshops will focus on:
- Maximising the full use of Scottish Qualifications Authority's assessment arrangements for pupils using ICT (Dawn Roberts, Fife Council)
- Using apps for laptops, iPads and Chromebooks that really can make a difference for children with dyslexia (Shirley Lawson, CALL Scotland)
- Multisensory, interactive and inclusive activities that can be used in the primary setting (Blair Minchin, Victoria Primary School, Edinburgh)
Inclusive classrooms, whether real or virtual, don’t just help pupils with dyslexia. Many of the things that help dyslexic pupils can help others as well. We know there are thousands of teachers in Scotland who are committed and passionate about providing the best teaching they can, and we want as many as possible to benefit from the strategies that will be shared on 3 October. We hope that you will join us.
Lena Gillies is national development officer for Dyslexia Scotland