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Specific learning difficulties affecting one or more specific area of learning.

Provision and / or strategies:

In addition, to strategies to suggested in the other cognition and learning areas, the following may be of help:

  • Assessment through teaching to identify the areas of need in consultation with the child or young person. Observation can be used if more appropriate.
  • Teach metacognition approaches (how we learn). For example ask the child to think in advance about how they will accomplish a task. Talk through and sequence the stages together.
  • Understand the child’s difficulties with learning in consultation with the child and their parent carers, including finding out what works at home.
  • Adopt a neuro-diversity approach to celebrate the strengths of each child / young person.
  • Recognise and celebrate success in effort and show interest in other areas of their life.
  • Work closely with the special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) and other specialist staff to understand what strategies or approaches to use in line with advice from assessments or consultation.
  • Use evidence-based interventions to develop skills, for example spelling, handwriting, literacy and numeracy.
  • Link learning to real world situations.

To support memory:

  • Provide memory aids, for example visual cues and timetables referring to these regularly throughout the day, ensure that these are readily available to the child / young person and moved frequently to enable accessibility. Examples of memory aids include alphabet strips, number squares, post-its, key word lists, table squares.
  • Consider teaching of memory skills e.g. memory games, kinaesthetic prompts and use of planning tools such as mind mapping.
  • Ensure a consistent routine, supporting the child with changes when necessary.
  • Support the child / young person visually and kinaesthetically when changes in the environment occur. For example, allow extra time for tidying up, repeating activities.
  • Ensure resources are clearly labelled with pictures and words and are at the child’s level allowing independence.
  • Provide photographs of the school / setting including important people such as a key worker, teacher, teaching assistant, the environment, coat / bag space, so that these can be shared with the child at home.
  • Use planning tools such as mind mapping.

For literacy difficulties:

  • Make simple changes, e.g. font styles and size, coloured paper, line spacing, lighting, overlays and appropriate use of technology.
  • Consider peers groupings so the child or young person has access to good role models for language and communication.
  • Use ‘think, pair, share’ to provide time to think.
  • Use appropriate learning resources e.g. pencil grips, spelling aids and alternative methods for recording information – including verbal and ICT methods.
  • Provide opportunities for over learning through games to support reinforcement.
  • Reduce the use of language in other areas of the curriculum. e.g. maths solving word problems..

For numeracy difficulties:

  • Provide context for learning so that the child or young person can understand the relevance of each concept and link to their experiences.
  • Ensure mathematical language is embedded throughout the environment and used in all play and routine opportunities.
  • Provide access to concrete resources e.g. hundred squares, number lines, Numicon etc.
  • Support use of a calculator when mental calculation is not the focus of the session. For example, when solving word problems.

For developmental co-ordination difficulties:

Please see the Sensory and Physical Needs section. Developmental co-ordination difficulties (DCD) was previously known as dyspraxia.

Please note: a small number of children and young people may have a formal diagnosis e.g. dyslexia, dyscalculia or developmental co-ordination difficulties. For all areas of need, any provision or support should be provided in line with the needs of the CYP and is NOT dependant on any formal diagnosis.

Last updated 3 November 2021

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