Day: June 6, 2007

Books for All: Accessible curriculum materials for pupils with additional support needs


It’s fantastic to hear that the Scottish Executive has taken the step of publishing this document that sets out ways in which we can provide accessible materials for students who experience difficulties with reading. There’s still a lot of work to be done to make this all happen but the apparent backing from the Executive hopefully puts these issues beyond a stage where they can be ignored. A small number of Support for Learning teachers from Highland primary and secondary schools were involved in helping with some local research for this work.

We are contacting you to let you know of an important development in the area of curriculum materials in accessible formats.Today the Scottish Executive posted a report titled Books for All: Accessible curriculum materials for pupils with additional support needs to its website.

The report is available at:

The report is the outcome of a project funded by Scottish Executive Education Department and carried out by the Communication Aids for Language and Learning (CALL Centre) at the University of Edinburgh.

It considers:

· The numbers of pupils with literacy support needs in Scotland.
· What learning materials are required in alternative formats.
· Which alternative formats would benefit pupils with literacy difficulties.
· What benefits are achieved by having learning materials in alternative formats.
· Issues of equity and provisions under copyright exemption legislation.
Finally, the report discusses how accessible materials might be made more widely available, the duties of responsible bodies such as local authorities in this regard, and what steps should be taken to address these issues.

The report will also be available from CALL’s Books for All web site at or here in PDF format (3.8mb)

The Seven Gates: Community Art Project in Wick

On a two day visit to Wick this week I came across The Seven Gates community art project. I had been prompted by a friend of one of the artists about these so decided to try some instant information exchange between Wick & Edinburgh since she hadn’t actually seen the works.

View the pictures here.

Artist, Sue Jane Taylor told us that these arches had been identified by the pupils on the project as the most important thing that needed enhancing in the local environment – previously they were highly unpleasant and scary places, used as rubbish dumps for all sorts of nasty stuff and not somewhere you’d ever want to see or go near… so, a brilliant result all round!

I thought these were great, artistic and practical – the photography doesn’t do them justice and the interiors of the arches weren’t illuminated when I went to see them – but a definite ‘must see’ if you’re in Wick. Use the controls at the top of the pictures to pause the show or click to obtain full-size images.

I’d love to hear from anyone who was involved in the project to supply more information or to correct me on anything. It would also be great to hear of other, similar projects.

Could we perhaps get some pupils from different areas around Highland – or further afield – to get involved in this type of exchange? Lots of cross-curricular opportunities in such a venture.