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

Supporting children and young people during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Blue rectangle with text Coronavirus and Covid 19

Coronavirus (Covid 19)

Covid 19 has brought huge challenges and changes to all our lives. Children and young people may find coping with the uncertainty and significant changes to their routines particularly stressful and challenging. 

The emergence of a new variant of COVID-19 means that reopening schools at this time would not be consistent with a safety-first approach for children, young people and school staff. These exceptional arrangements are being put in place as a precautionary measure in light of the latest developments in the path of the virus.

The Scottish Government has published updated guidance which is intended to provide clarity on arrangements for school education at the start of term in January 2021. The arrangements set out in this guidance are currently expected to be in place until at least 1 February, subject to a further review in mid-January.

Select here to access the Scottish Government Guidance (January 2021)

Remote Learning 

National expectations for remote learning were published by Education Scotland on the 8th January 2021. Select here to access the guidance. 

Education Scotland are working with schools and local authorities to support and improve the delivery of high quality and effective remote learning. A national overview is underway and will be published on the 29th January 2021. the purpose is to;

  • Learn what is working well and share good practice widely
  • Surface the challenges/issues and address them locally or nationally as appropriate.
  • Identify where further assistance is required.

Select here to access further information on the National Overview. 

Online Support and Remote Learning 

The increasing volume of information on the internet about how to support all children, young people and their families during the Covid 19 outbreak may feel overwhelming at times. This page aims to provide a small selection of helpful resources and links recommended by the Toolkit for practitioners and families who are supporting children and young people who are at home and engaging in blended learning during this current lockdown of 2021. Resources can be selected which are most appropriate for the child or young person being supported. 

Covid 19 Information


NHS Covid 19 - Advice for everyone 

The Scottish Government - Information on supporting pupils, parents and teachers 

NHS Clear Your Head

During these difficult times it’s important to stick to the advice about staying at home and reducing social contact. But that doesn’t mean you have to get through things all on your own. There are lots of organisations offering ideas and practical assistance to get you through. Whenever you need it, this NHS website can point you in the right direction.

Dyslexia Scotland -  Information 


Information for parents and carers

'It’s ok to worry about going back to school' A resource pack for parents of neurodiverse children to help with going back to school


Explaining the Covid 19 to children and young people.

The BBC Newsround site has a comprehensive section on coronavirus developed for children and young people.  

CALL Scotland are sharing some visual support resources to help explain Covid 19. 

Childline have a comprehensive range of information, support, activities and suggestions for children and young people. 

ENABLE have produced some easy read Covid 19 fact sheets on their website. 

Mencap have created some easy ready information about Coronavirus for you to use based on the latest guidance from the Government. (March 24th). Select ‘here’ to download a copy. 

Parent Club - Coronavirus

Young Scot Covid 19 - A comprehensive range of information specifically designed for children and young people. It includes helpful advice and suggestions to reduce stress and anxiety which may be felt by children and young people at this time. 

Share a film showing the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, and the Scottish Government's National Clinical Director for Scotland, Jason Leitch, when they joined Young Scot for a special live stream, answering questions on COVID-19. 

Supporting a return to early years and school

A range of information and resources to support learners, their families and practitioners in the return to full time education can be found in the Transitions section of the Toolkit. Including information from the National Parent Forum of Scotland. 

Supporting extended time at home

It is important for parents and carers to understand that no one expects parents/carers and family members to be the teacher. If a child or young person is required to stay at home then schools will be providing activities and work for home learning and monitoring their learners' progress. 

Things to Remember 

Things often thought are needed by children when not in early years settings or school 

Things actually needed by children when not in early years settings school 
Time tabled activities from 09.00am - end of school day  Balance of activities 
No Screen Time  Flexible Routines 
Lots of school work  Learning /School work 
Rigid Routine  Practical learning activities e.g. cooking, gardening, art 
New Toys  Construction activities, den building,  model building
  Interaction with adults - also using social media  
  Play  - games - could include using electronic devices 
  Relaxation times 

(Adapted from a resource developed by the Inverclyde Psychology Service) 

Below are some suggestions which can complement the work provided by schools. Please note that:

  • Schools may already have subscriptions to learning websites and may have shared the passwords with learners and their families.

  • Some of the sites are offering free subscriptions during school closures.

Education Scotland Website  | Sign up to newsletters


Top Ten Resources for teachers outlines a range of free resources from Dyslexia Scotland

Home learning download - the within this document are  on this page of the Toolkit. Select 'here' to download a copy 

Support for other professionals to use


Supporting learning at home


Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit Within this Toolkit there are a range of learning and teaching resources which support literacy and numeracy skills. The resources are helpful for all learners including those who are not dyslexic.

'At home with Dyslexia Scotland'  Useful films on Dyslexia Scotland's YouTube channel including recorded Parent Masterclasses.

BBC ‘How to keep your kids learning at home’

BBC Teach    A range of live lessons for primary and secondary pupils.  

BBC Bitesize  This site is accessible, and learners can access a wide range of learning resources appropriate to their need and interests.

GLOW  is the Scottish Schools National Intranet. This is a major national ICT and telecommunications programme managed by Education Scotland. It is available to all learners in Scottish local authority schools. GLOW has a wide range of learning opportunities and is commonly being used by schools as a way to support distance learning while they are closed.

Glasgow Dyslexia Support Services (GDSS) and English as an Additional Language Services (EAL)- provides a range of resources to support home learning. 

The James Dyson Foundation Dyson’s charitable arm, introduces young people to the exciting world of engineering, encouraging them to think differently, make mistakes and realize their engineering potential. Dyson engineers have designed fun and free challenge cards with activities specifically for children and young people which can be done at home. 

Call Scotland provide a wide range of information and accessible resources to support home learning. See their Wheels of Apps here

SCHOLAR supports independent study; students can use the materials to study anytime, anywhere, in school, college or home.

If you have any suggestions to include within this page please email the Toolkit working group at  toolkit@dyslexiascotland.org.uk


Resources have made available for free during school closures 


Listening to stories - Audible have made their childrens stories free to stream for as long as schools are closed.  

Barrington Stoke - a range of free resources and author videos

David Walliams is reading a free story each day via his Twitter page while the schools are closed. 

Julia Donaldson and Friends - Every Thursday at 4pm Monday 6 April 2020 to Thursday 4 June 2020. Join Julia Donaldson and Friends while she shares a song, story or poems, joined by a selection of guest illustrators.

Clicker and DocsPlus:

Nessy (virtual school):

Claro software - Free until the end of July 2020 

Activity Village 


Jo Wicks - Free daily fitness lessons via UTube 

Parentzone Scotland - supporting Literacy at home 



Gaelic resources and links

Parentzone Scotland  - Supporting Gaelic at home

Below are a few suggestions - there are many more 

75th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day - Join Discovery Education as they commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day. Through a series of activities, learn what life was like in Britain during the Second World War culminating in a national virtual tea party.


Arts Awards 

BBC ‘How to keep your kids learning at home’

Glasgow Science Centre daily scientific video #GSCAtHome

‘The Great Indoors’ (indoor activities from the Scouts)

Chris Packham - Spring Blossoms - Daily films by Chris Packham exploring nature and biology    #WildMorningswithChris

Listening to stories /audio books - see the Language tab.

Yoga  - A wide range of free online Yoga lessons are available online. 

Den Building in the house or garden 

Live web cameras/animations  at Museums, Zoos and Wildlife Parks 



The British Museum – interactive experience - https://britishmuseum.withgoogle.com/

The British Museum's learning team create and deliver accessible world class cultural learning experiences for all ages and levels. They have developed some resources which support learning at home. https://www.britishmuseum.org/learn/schools . Although the resources are linked to the English curriculum levels, the content is appropriate. For example

Egyptians – ‘How were mummies made?’  

British Natural History Museum  - Virtual Tours and activities to try at home https://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/virtual-museum.html 

The Smithsonian, National Museum of Natural History – Virtual Tour (America) https://naturalhistory.si.edu/visit/virtual-tour


Art Galleries 


Tate for Kids - Play free art games and fun quizzes, find art activities, read about artists and share your art https://www.tate.org.uk/kids

National Portrait Gallery – Edinburgh – At Home resources (scroll down the page)

National Portrait Gallery – London Virtual Tours 

The Louvre – Paris Virtual Tour https://www.louvre.fr/en/visites-en-ligne and https://www.louvre.fr/en?mod=article_inline 

"One minute in a museum" - Fun 60 second animations about works of art featuring three cartoon characters who react to works of art from the Louvre museum.


Zoos and Wildlife Parks 


Edinburgh Zoo -Animal Live cams 

Highland Wildlife Park Animal Live cams 

Blair Dummond Safari Park - Animal Webcams