About Symbols for All

Our websites:


Using picture symbols as visual supports benefits learners of all abilities, from developing language and learning to understanding the environment. Their use can improve outcomes and raise the attainment of many learners, beyond those with identified additional support needs. The purpose of Symbols for All is to support the introduction of picture symbols and their use in everyday school activities by providing a core 'starter' set of resources.

What are the Symbols for All resources?

There are symbols for the environment and the learner, which can be used as a whole school resource and for individual pupils. They are created with Picture Communication Symbols (PCS) and Widgit Symbols. There are around 80 printable PDFs created and organised around Scotland's 'Curriculum for Excellence' (CfE). Within CfE, discreet subjects are divided into 8 curricular areas and organised as follows:

Each of the symbol resources has been categorised and labelled into these curricular areas, though there are many resources which fall into multiple categories. Symbol resources to support and develop communication is the theme which underpins them all.  The symbol resources are in a variety of easily adaptable formats such as step-by-step instructions, core vocabulary communication boards and visual supports, plus many more.


Why would you use the resources?

Using the resources will help make your School/Nursery a more inclusive and accessible environment for all learners. This will support learners with a range of needs to achieve, which might include:

  • reduced attention span
  • difficulties following instructions and directions
  • slow processing speed
  • short working memory (particularly auditory memory)
  • delayed language (understanding and producing speech sounds/language)
  • English as an additional language
  • difficulties with predictability and following change
  • difficulties reading text

These needs may be due to a range of factors including physical, sensory, learning, and communication difficulties.

Using the resources will provide a consistent approach for all learners and for staff, as pupils progress through school and stages, and support the learner to develop skills in the above areas.

Who would use the resources?

The resources can be used by:

  • Class teachers
  • Support for learning teachers
  • Classroom assistants, additional support needs assistants
  • Anyone else working with a learner with an Additional Support Need (visiting specialist staff, health professionals including Speech and Language Therapists)
  • Parent/ Carers

How do you use the resources?

  1. Find the resources you need on the curricular resources page
  2. Download the PDFs to your computer
  3. Print off the resources
  4. Laminate and cut out the symbols, add Velcro as appropriate
  5. Involve your whole school in learning about and using the resources

Editing the print resources

If you have access to Boardmaker and Widgit software,  you can now download and edit all of the Symbols for All curricular resources to adapt for your learners. Go to the Curricular resources page and click the links in the box at the top of the page.

Schools who use InPrint3 software can download a folder containing all the '.ipdoc' files to edit and personalise the Widgit resources.

Schools who use Boardmaker software can download a folder containing all the '.bm2' files. These '.bm2' files can be opened in Boardmaker Plus! V6 or imported into Boardmaker Studio and Boardmaker Online. Additionally, for those who have a Boardmaker Online subscription you can download all the Symbols for All resources directly from the Boardmaker Online community. Type 'Symbols4All' into the search box to find them. Additionally, you can search for subject specific resources using the tags in the table below.

Tag To search for
CALLScotland or symbols4all All resources
symbols4allLanguages Literacy, Gaelic & Scots language resources
symbols4allMaths Mathematics resources
symbols4allHWB Health & Wellbeing resources
symbols4allSciences Science resources
symbols4allExpArts Art, Music and Dance resources
symbols4allTechnologies Computing, Food and Textile resources
symbols4allSocial Social Studies resources
symbols4allRME Religious and Moral Education resources
symbols4allClassOrg Classroom Organisation resources
symbols4allCommunication Communication across the curriculum

Interactive Symbols for All resources


If you have access to Boardmaker Studio or Boardmaker Online, you can download some interactive Symbols for all resources from the Boardmaker Online website. (type 'Symbols4All' in the search box) These include resources for structuring daily teaching activities, sciences and literacy.

Grid 3:

If you are working with learners who use Grid 3 software, we have created 12 communication grid sets designed for eye gaze access. These 12 communication grid sets are all based on the Symbols for All printable communication resources. The Grid 3 resources can be used interactively, speaking messages aloud. They can be used to model sentence building, model 'core' communication words, communicate requests and create communication opportunities around a variety of curricular activities from baking to reading and more. PCS, SymbolStix and Widgit grid sets are available. 


Instructions for finding and downloading the Symbols for All resources from within Grid 3 can be found here.

Alternatively you can download the files directly from the Smartbox Online Grids website.