Specific learning difficulties affecting one or more specific areas of learning

Examples of strategies and provision that could be used to support.

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.