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


Glossary (including acronyms)



Individualised Educational Programme

Independent assessment (SQA)

An instrument of assessment applied by the awarding body to improve the rigour and credibility of assessment decisions across different awarding bodies and centres.


Modification to suit the wishes or needs of a particular individual.

Instruments of assessment (SQA)

A means of generating evidence of a candidate's competence. Sometimes referred to as 'approaches to assessment' or 'assessment methodology', eg observation checklist, project specification or peer report.

Integrated assessment (SQA)

Where the application of an instrument of assessment allows for assessment of more than one Unit within a qualification.

Internal assessment (SQA)

Where the application of an instrument of assessment allows for assessment of more than one Unit within a qualification.

Internal Verifier/ Moderator (SQA)

The person within the centre who checks that the assessment process has been valid, reliable and practicable.

No glossary terms.

No glossary terms.

Literacy (A Curriculum for Excellence)

The set of skills which allows an individual to engage fully in society and in learning, through the different forms of language, and the range of texts, which society values and finds useful.

Meares-Irlen Syndrome

Also known as ‘Irlen Syndrome’ and ‘Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome’, it is a perceptual problem that seems to upset the way the brain processes incoming visual information with various detrimental results - for example, print seeming blurry, perhaps seeming to move around and/or peculiar patterns or ‘rivers’ seeming to appear. It is not an optical problem nor does it affect only those with literacy difficulties, but can it be exacerbated by factors such as bright lighting, high contrast, glare, patterns and colours. It can affect not only reading and writing ability, but also fluency, comfort, concentration and attention, and therefore comprehension and behaviour.


Awareness of, and understanding how we think and process information; thinking about thinking.


Using all of the available senses to aid learning – hear it, see it, say it, write it: - do it, act it out, shape it with dough, trace it, type it on the computer, feel it etc.


The development of the nervous system; relating to the development of cognitive functioning.


The initial consonant(s) of a syllable e.g. spr in spring, or p in pat.


Physical education


A distinguishable speech sound.

Phonological awareness

Sensitivity to the sounds of language. It includes the ability to segment and distinguish individual and groups of sounds - i.e. phonemes, syllables etc.

It is generally agreed that phonological awareness links to children’s reading development at three levels

  • Syllable
  • Onset-rime
  • Phoneme.


Relating to the sound system of the language.


Personal Learning Plan


Element placed at start of a word to qualify its meaning.