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Cotmanhay Junior School

Safe, Happy Learning

Cognition and Learning Needs

Learning difficulties range in their nature and scope. Pupils with cognition and learning needs may have specific, moderate or severe learning difficulties. Profound and multiple learning difficulties occur when a child has complex learning needs as well as a physical disability or sensory impairment.




Common areas of difficulty for a child with cognition and learning needs include:

  • Memory
  • Attention and focus
  • Processing
  • Organisation


Dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia are examples of specific learning difficulties. School cannot diagnose a specific learning difficulty. We can monitor for traits of these conditions and identify support needs, whether a child has an official diagnosis or not.


In this area of need, we:

  • Assess by observing pupils and monitoring their work, and talking to parents or carers. We use Formative Footprints, the National Curriculum and a range of standardised specialist assessments. If relevant, we refer to Educational Psychology or SSSEN (Derbyshire’s Specialist Service for Special Educational Needs) for further advice and recommendations.
  • Set specific targets and plan opportunities for those targets to be met.
  • Deliver lessons or intervention programmes, including those advised by external agencies.
  • Review progress and plan next steps for each child carefully.


We use signs and symbols from Widgit Online to enhance communication in classroom routines and in learning tasks.



Useful websites: