A toolkit for the identification and support
of learners exhibiting literacy difficulties


Teaching approaches and strategies

Appropriate strategies to enable the effective learning and teaching of learners with dyslexia should be multi-sensory in nature, well-structured and interactive. A wide range of teaching approaches, strategies and resources are used across schools within Universal Support in Scotland to help learners who have dyslexia.

Classroom approaches - Universal Support (this list is not exhaustive)

  • Providing a supportive school ethos and positive relationships
  • Supporting a child centred approach
  • Understanding the learner’s profile, maximising their strengths and supporting areas of difficulties
  • Supporting the learner to understand their dyslexia - their strengths and areas of difficulties.
  • Allow a range of formats for the learner to demonstrate their learning
  • Mark on content – not only spelling
  • Set achievable targets
  • Encourage independent learning 
  • Peer support and buddying
  • Cooperative learning
  • Use of Toolkit checklists 
  • Small group or individualised learning
  • Specialist input from support for learning staff
  • Supportive inclusive school ethos
  • Environmental literacy audit of classroom and school
  • Differentiation of materials, media, flexible means of response, individualised homework
  • Multi-sensory approaches and resources
  • Visual prompts, including alphabets, number lines, visual timetables
  • Extra time to complete tasks
  • Use of more accessible fonts on printed materials
  • SQA digital question papers
  • Coloured texts, paper and overlays
  • Help boxes in classrooms
  • Use of Toolkit literacy circles
  • Literacy games
  • Audio books
  • Animation techniques /apps/software
  • ICT to support reading and writing – (accessible digital formats)
  • Encourage talking, telling stories
  • Resources to support the Pre-Phonics stage
  • Phonological awareness and ‘fresh start phonics’
  • Graded, high-interest readers
  • Reading Recovery and Writing Recovery programmes
  • Cooperative learning
  • Adult support, including reading and scribing
  • Phonic dictionaries
  • Mastery-learning spelling programmes.
  • Multi-sensory resources to support acquisition  of number bonds
  • Visual prompts e.g.  graphics of fractions, number squares, number lines, visual timetables
  • Effective use of IT – calculators
  • Numeracy games
  • Talking calculators
  • Maths glossary – illustrated
  • Provide clear, step by step instruction
  • Allow for processing time
  • Provide overview at the start of the  lesson
  • Mind mapping, use of key words
  • Memory games
  • Use of subject glossaries
  • Scaffolding techniques to support writing
  • Visual timetables
  • Effective communication with learner and parent/carer
  • School strategies shared with parent/carer for home use
  • Effective communication and partnership working between practitioners

Click here to access the resource section of the toolkit.

Further information is available to download on the Dyslexia Scotland Website leaflet page.