School finishes on Wednesday 24th July at 1:45pm

Yeading Junior School

Learning, Working and Achieving Together

Cognition and Learning

Cognition and Learning

Cognition and learning needs may encompass most of the curriculum, such as for pupils with MLD or SLD.  However, cognition and learning needs may only impact specific areas such as reading, writing, spelling and mental calculations. Cognition and learning needs generally account for difficulties in curriculum-related areas such as:

  • reading, writing and spelling
  • number work
  • comprehension
  • processing difficulties such as sequencing, inference, coherence and elaboration
  • working memory
  • short term verbal memory
  • other types of executive function difficulties


Provision/Strategies applied at YJS


  • Regular, short breaks including use of movement breaks.
  • Chunking, breaking tasks down
  • Backward chaining – chain parts of the task together (e.g. build the sequence at the last part of the task and working back so the child experiences success and then gradually work back to increase more elements until they can do the entire task)
  • Named instructions.
  • Asking the child to repeat back what activity they are going to do.
  • Assessment through teaching to identify the areas of need in consultation with the learner
  • Clear and simple instructions, breaking down longer instructions and giving one at a time
  • Give time before response is needed
  • Pre-teaching – e.g. provision of a TA to help prepare the learner for the new topic
  • Shared next steps – so they know what to expect
  • Pre teaching and overlearning, support from parents
  • Assessment through teaching to identify the areas of need in consultation with the learner or observation if more appropriate
  • Metacognition approaches – learning to learn e.g. by trying to understand the learner’s difficulty and asking them what helps
  • Use of evidence-informed approaches to address the difficulty - evidence-based interventions to develop skills e.g., spelling, handwriting, literacy, numeracy
  • Staff will have been informed which strategies or approaches to use in line with advice from assessments or consultation
  • Alternative strategies for reading and recording
  • Consideration of adjustments for assessments and exams.
  • Adjustment, of the curriculum, to enable the learner to fully access the curriculum
  • Planned multi-sensory teaching that take account of different learning styles
  • Support to manage self-esteem – celebration of strengths, reinforcement of success
  • Flexible grouping which enables the child to work with good role models that focuses on functional skills and area of need
  • Assessment through observation and teaching (for example, are there parts of the routine and or curriculum that they find easier to manage than others?).
  • Personalise visual timetable to be used in setting.
  • Preparation for change of activity or routine. Beginnings and endings are important and require consideration using individual visual prompts as appropriate.
  • Small group / 1 to 1 tasks and activities.
  • Calm learning environment.
  • Clear communication of expectations
  • Regular mentor support, including adults or peers.
  • Positive praise to improve self-esteem as a learner and as an individual.
  • Use of unconditional positive regard.
  • Relationship based and trauma informed behaviour approach.
  • Recording and sharing of frequency and location of triggers and the severity and duration of unregulated behaviours in order to understand and adjust provision with an aim to reduce frequency and intensity.
  • Understanding, recording and sharing of the severity and duration of unregulated behaviour.
  • Communication with families about what might be happening at home (divorce, bereavement, illness) and strategies that work/don’t work and relaying this information to staff.
  • Preventative strategies in place.
  • Safe area and or reflection room.
  • Appropriate de-escalation strategies in place (time out card, mirroring, re-direction to a safe area, activity or resource).
  • Risk management plan or individual risk assessment.
  • Reintegration plans (for school age exclusions).
  • Whole setting training on de-escalation strategies and or emotion coaching strategies.
  • Engage CYP to give their voice to any plans.



Useful Websites:  

Tiny Happy people offers advice on how to support cognition and learning at different stages in your child's life: