Special education provision we expect

Cognition and learning (C&L) support guidance

The SEN Support provision we expect all schools and settings to offer for children and young people with cognition and learning needs.

Suggested whole-school approaches:

Have a supportive ethos and environment which promotes respect and values diversity

  • Celebrate difference and promote acceptance
  • Provide a broad and balanced curriculum
  • Ensure that curriculum promotes resilience and social and emotional development
  • Work towards creating a ‘Dyslexia Friendly’ school
  • Work towards creating ‘Dyspraxia Friendly’ classrooms
  • Work towards creating ’Dyscalculia friendly’ classrooms
  • Help parents/carers to support learning at home e.g.reading or maths cafes

Suggested SEND support strategies in the classroom:

  • Refer to ‘coordination difficulties’ PEaSS poster for strategies to support development of fine and gross motor skills
  • Create a ‘one-page profile’ involving parents/carers and the child or young person (CYP) in identifying how best to support
  • Have clear classroom routines and explicit expectations for behaviour and work
  • Use scaffolding to ensure the development of literacy and numeracy skills, expressive language and communication skills and to minimise behaviour and emotional difficulties
  • Use short simple instructions. Give one at a time and check for understanding. Provide visual prompts as reminders
  • Offer peer to peer support (e.g. give time to think and talk to a partner before answering a question)
  • Provide accessible resources and strategies to promote independent learning e.g. word banks, writing frames, assistive technology
  • Use pre-teaching and link new learning and vocabulary to what the CYP already knows
  • Scaffold/support questioning (e.g. using Bloom’s Taxonomy to stretch and challenge)
  • Break learning down into small new steps, building on prior learning
  • Model to the pupil that making mistakes is OK and a part of the learning process
  • Model, coach and reinforce skills, providing examples of new concepts drawn from CYPs real-life experiences
  • Enable recording using alternatives to writing: Clicker, PPT, poster, orally, mind maps, pictures/diagrams/maps, sorting statements or pictures into categories
  • Give sufficient thinking time (10 second rule) 

Suggestions for the SENDCo:

  • Identify need and monitor impact of interventions (e.g. use screening tools)
  • Check whether the CYP has had a recent sight and hearing test or a colorimetry test
  • Use the SpLD checklists to support teachers in identifying areas of need and appropriate support strategies
  • Plan targeted support and seek advice from external providers, including referrals to appropriate services
  • Continue the cycle of support (assess, plan, do, review) while specialist advice is sought
  • Consider advice from Educational Psychology and Specialist Support (EPSS) or alternative provider
  • Consider contacting Dyslexia Outreach for information, outreach advice or training
  • Train staff in support strategies for a range of learning difficulties, including SpLD (Specific Learning Difficulties) e.g. Neurodiversity / ’Every teacheris a teacher of SEN’
  • Consider contacting Access Through Technology for assessment, equipment, advice, support or training
  • Consider outreach advice and support from an appropriate C&L Specialist Resource Base (SRB)
  • Consider a School 2 School Support (S2S) referral for advice, support or training
  • Seek advice on specialist arrangements for examinations and assessments 

Download PEaSS condensed version