Cognition and Learning

Introduction

Children with cognition and learning needs have difficulties in learning or retaining basic skills or a specific difficulty with reading, writing, mathematics or understanding information. 

We strive to make a clear distinction between  underachievement" – often caused by a poor early experience of learning - and special educational needs. Some pupils in our school may be underachieving but will not necessarily have a special educational need. It is our responsibility to spot this quickly and ensure that appropriate interventions are put in place to help these pupils catch up.

The school uses a range of tests to identify specific learning needs and these are described in the Whole School Provision document attached below.

 

Literacy Difficulties

Some children have a particular difficulty in acquiring literacy skills (the ability to read, write and spell) so they can find it very difficult to read, write and spell accurately and fluently at the level expected for their age.

People with a specific literacy difficulty sometimes have difficulty with:

  • Phonological awareness (the ability to identify the small units of sound in a spoken word e.g. the ‘p’ sound in ‘pat’)

  • Short-term verbal memory

  • Verbal processing speed (the time it takes to process information such as letters and digits)

Some people with a SpLD are identified as having dyslexia but whether or not the person’s difficulties are called SpLD, dyslexia or literacy difficulties the support they will need will depend on their own particular range of strengths and needs.

With the right type and level of support, children with specific literacy difficulties including dyslexia can learn strategies that can help them draw on their strengths and go on to lead full and successful lives. The school has a structured approach to teaching reading that is detailed in our Teaching and Learning policy  and incorporates use of Big Read to develop a love of reading and good quality texts with daily structured phonics teaching and high frequency word recognition.

 

Numeracy Difficulties

Some children have a particular difficulty acquiring mathematical skills. They may struggle with:

  • ​​​​​​​Understanding quantities or concepts like biggest, smallest
  • They may not understand the symbols in maths and not really see 5 as being the same as the word five
  • They may struggle to retain maths facts like tables and doubles that halp in calculation
  • They may not undertand the vocabulary of maths
  • They sometimes learn facts but can not apply their knowledge to word problems
  • They may have a poor working memory so can not retain the steps needed to complete calculations and problems
  • They may have "Maths Anxiety"
  • They may have poor visual perception and/or left -right orientation which can make any column methods or number sentences challenging

Some children with a SpLD are identified as having dyscalculia but whether or not the person’s difficulties are called SpLD, dyscalculia or numeracy difficulties the support they will need will depend on their own particular range of strengths and needs.

The approach to supporting difficulties in Mathematics is detailed in the Whole School Provision document below.

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