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Cognition & Learning

Cognition and learning difficulties can affect children’s ability to learn and do well at school. Specific learning difficulties (SpLD) include a range of conditions such as dyslexiadyscalculia and dyspraxia.


Children who have needs in more than one of these areas are considered to have ‘complex needs’. A child may also be described as having ‘mild’ or ‘severe’ learning difficulties depending on the degree of need and the impact this has on their lives. 


Support for learning difficulties may be needed when children and young people learn at a slower pace than their peers. 


Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs. Pupils with moderate learning difficulties (MLD) may need extra support in some areas of the curriculum. 


Those with severe learning difficulties (SLD) are likely to need support in all areas of the curriculum and have associated difficulties with mobility and communication. 


Pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), are likely to have severe and complex learning difficulties as well as a physical disability or sensory impairment

Example Provisions & Interventions


  • Careful reading monitoring, to ensure all children are on the right reading book level

  • Reading rulers

  • Adapted texts

  • Daily, systematic, multi-sensory and structured spelling teaching

  • Phoneme frames to support independence with spelling

  • Careful consideration of background colour of white boards, and of page colour in exercise books

  • Careful and considered questioning to give processing time, e.g. ‘Think, pair, share’

  • Range of recording methods considered across the curriculum taking account of transcriptional and/or spelling difficulties, e.g. labelled diagrams, flow charts, story maps, bullet point lists and use of IT

  • Consistent literacy and numeracy supports resources and prompts in all classrooms



  • Toe by Toe

  • Read Write Inc

  • Fresh Start – reading and spelling

  • TRUGs

  • Talk Boost

  • Regular 1:1 reading running records

  • Sound Linkage

  • Nessy

  • Support with the development of IT skills, including: typing, voice to text and text reading.

  • Power of 2

  • Plus 1

  • English SEND support groups

  • Maths SEND support groups


  • One to one assessments of literacy abilities by a dyslexia specialist teacher.

  • Referral to outside agencies, when and where appropriate and necessary, such as: Speech and Language, Educational Psychologist.

My Story
Cognition & Learning Lead
Mr Ossian Pleasance

Ossian P..jpg

I have been a teacher for over 20 years, and a dyslexia specialist teacher for 10 years.  I am an Associate Member of the British Dyslexia Association (AMBDA), a qualification which enables me to assess children for dyslexia, generate  formal reports and devise and deliver intervention teaching.  As well as my role here at Ilfracombe Junior school, I am also an advisory teacher for the Devon SpLD (Dyslexia) Service, working alongside a very experienced team which keeps me up to date with any and all developments in the sphere of dyslexia.

As the lead on Cognition and Learning here at school, my main role sees me assessing children’s literacy abilities across the school, supporting teachers with the implementation of recommendations that I might make, and directly teaching children too.  Ensuring of consistency across the school with regards to ‘universal’ provision has been a big focus for me recently, supporting all teachers to feel secure with the available resources and prompts in all classrooms.  I am also very much involved in many other literacy based projects and events, such as whole school Spelling Bees, story writing competitions and drama productions.

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