How will schools support children with learning needs?

Children and young people with learning difficulties will learn at a slower pace than other children and may have greater difficulty than their peers in acquiring basic literacy or numeracy skills or in understanding concepts, even with appropriate differentiation. They may also have other difficulties such as speech and language delay, low self-esteem, low levels of concentration and under-developed social skills.” Draft Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (2013)

Quality first teaching - We believe that quality teaching is about what should be on offer for all children and that the most effective inclusion for all pupils is through high-quality everyday personalised teaching. This teaching is based on clear objectives that are shared with the children and returned to at the end of the lesson, new vocabulary and ideas which are carefully introduced and reinforced, the use of lively, interactive teaching styles and making maximum use of visual and kinaesthetic as well as auditory/verbal learning. Children are encouraged to reflect on their learning and identify next steps with support. Approaches like these are the best way to reduce, from the start, the number of children who need extra help with learning or behaviour.

Identification -Children who need extra help will be identified through tracking (an ongoing record of their attainment), problem areas identified by the adults working with the child, the child’s own views and in response to parental concerns. A need may be short term and in response to an event at home which affects the child emotionally, in this case, close relationships and communication between home and school are essential. In some cases we will also use more formal assessments such as standardised tests, dyslexia screening tests and assessments from outside agencies as appropriate.

Support - When a need has been identified it may be supported through targeted catch-up provision for groups to ‘put children back on course’ and a variety of small group and individual intervention programmes. Programmes of support may target specific subject areas and may be provided by class teachers or teaching assistants individually or in small groups. Support may be provided in class through class teachers adapting the curriculum and planning work to match the needs of children with additional needs by:

  • Differentiation of tasks

  • Additional aids (visual cues, apparatus, prompt cards, resources)

  • Use of ICT

  • Additional adult support