Making Sense Programme: final report

Report detailing the work undertaken by the Making Sense Working Group to support the implementation of these recommendations through the Making Sense: Dyslexia and Inclusive Practice Programme 2014 to 2019.

Annex E : Dyslexia Scotland Young Ambassador and Youth Day

Dyslexia Ambassador outreach programme feedback

Workshop at Education conference 2018 on Mission Superpower – Ambassador outreach programme

“This was super - very relevant and transferrable to the classroom - I will definitely use the ideas given. Presenters were lively, colourful, open and very receptive to their audience."

WOW! Simply outstanding. Passionate, engaging, stimulating and inspiring. A first class presentation which allowed us to tackle activities from the perspective of an eight year old child. Excellent strategies and ideas were

given to support learners and to overcome barriers. Comic strip idea was first class and I have already implemented this in my classroom setting - pupils are already engaged and excited! Thank-you! Can't wait to further develop this!”

“Value of emphasising need to discuss dyslexia more widely with all children, and to plan to support wellbeing of children of dyslexia”

“Creating a superhero to battle difficulties would work well with the children.”

“Enthusiasm to tackle problem issues for all learners, not just dyslexic ones.”

Feedback from schools and parents about the Ambassador programme:

“Just wanted to pass on my thanks to Paul for the Dyslexia presentation tonight. I had to leave straightaway due to getting back to my daughter, but I took great confidence from Paul’s journey and took on board all the info and hope we can put it into practice to support my son moving forward.” (Parent after parents’ workshop)

“I would like to say that the response to your parent workshop has been very positive! I have had the opportunity over the last couple of weeks at parents’ night to speak to parents who were there and their feelings are that you gave them a much more positive and hopeful outlook of their children’s futures as learners. They were very inspired by your experience and appreciated your practical tips on how they as families could build on their children’s skills.” (Support for Learning teacher)

“Thank you so much for a very entertaining and informative afternoon. All of the pupils had a great time.” (Deputy Head Teacher after pupils’ workshop)

“The work that Paul did with the children was fantastic. The children really enjoyed it and their discussion afterwards showed that they had developed some understanding of dyslexia. The children really engaged with the work on the superpowers!” (Depute Headteacher)

“The HT and I and my class teachers could not speak highly enough of the Dyslexia Ambassador Programme. It has provided an excellent opportunity for CPD for staff to look at the Toolkit and to attend Shawlands Academy for training from the GDSS team.”

Young people with dyslexia are actively involved in a range of Dyslexia Scotland activities. The views of young people including Dyslexia Scotland’s Young Ambassadors influence the planning and delivery of events, materials, the Dyslexia Unwrapped website content and the annual Youth Day. In turn, these views contribute to the professional learning of teachers and other stakeholders involved in the implementation of the Making Sense programme.

Youth Days

Dyslexia Scotland runs an annual Youth Day for dyslexic children and young people, with its Young Ambassadors playing a key role in planning and helping out on the day. Amongst the many different workshops and talks at the Youth Days in the past few years, the programme has included the following activities related to the Making Sense review:

  • A display asking young people what they thought about the developments related to the Making Sense review of Education for children and young people in Scotland.
  • Mission Superpower workshops run by our Ambassadors
  • Young Ambassadors question and answer panels
  • Film-making – all young people attending the day were given the opportunity to share their experiences about dyslexia on video. These are available on Dyslexia Unwrapped and some of the clips have been made into a video about the Scottish Working Definition of Dyslexia

Feedback from Youth Day participants:

“I learned that I am not the only one and there are lots of thing available to help me’

‘It was good meeting people with dyslexia who have the same issues as me’

“The superhero workshop was fab although I was a little nervous to stand up and describe my superhero.”

“I didn't want to go because I usually feel awkward talking about my dyslexia but at the end of the day I enjoyed talking to the camera.”

From parents:

‘My son came back positive about the strategies he learned’

‘My daughter left with a real boost in her confidence – thanks to all the staff for a fantastic day!

Young Ambassadors’ role

In addition to their involvement in Dyslexia Unwrapped and the Youth Days as outlined above, our Young Ambassadors give talks about their dyslexia in schools and universities, at the Education conference and at forums such as at the Cross-Party Group on Dyslexia. Dyslexia Scotland also invites Young Ambassadors to take part in discussions that influence policy change affecting dyslexic people, for example in 2019, one of the Young Ambassadors has shared her experience of claiming and using Disabled Students’ Allowance at college and university, at discussions with SAAS.



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