Cognition & Learning Service

Cognition & Learning Service

Welcome to the Cognition and Learning Service


Our Team provide quality advice and training tailored to the needs of individual schools and pupils.  We all have many years teaching experience and additional qualifications in a wide variety of special educational needs. 

For more information and advice click on the links below:

The New LD Primary Baseline Toolbox of Ideas

Baseline Assessment to Inform Future Planning and Target Setting (Primary)

Baseline Assessment to Inform Future Planning and Target Setting (Secondary)

Consent Letter to Parents



Contact List 

Head of LD Team and Contact:  Jeanne Stitt     
Deputy Head  Nicola Robinson
 Specialist Teachers  Beth Roberts   (Service Inset Coordinator)
   Catherine Pass  (Lead on SLCN)
   Caroline Howarth  (‘Catch up’ Reading co-ordinator )   
   Fiona Whitaker  (LD ICT co-ordinator)
   Paula Derry
   Peter Jewitt
   Nicola Gaunt
   Judith Curran
   Judith Cunningham
   Malgorzata Lewalski
  Jane Leatherdale
  Yasmeen Akhtar
 Perpatetic Inclusion Mentor (PIM)    Margaret Whitham
   Helen Neen  
Administrator  Anna Chatburn



Department of Children's Services
SEN Services

Learning Difficulties Team
Future House
Bolling Road

 Tel: 01274 385833  


About Us   

Client Group

The LD team provides an assessment, advisory and support service for pupils with learning difficulties from 5 to 19 years of age within mainstream schools. 

 Range of Services


The LD team covers a variety of learning difficulties ranging from general learning difficulties, specific learning difficulties, language and communication difficulties and difficulties that may overlap. The team are able to offer a range of advice for medical presentations such as Down’s syndrome.

The LD teacher may work with individual pupils, groups of pupils or to undertake whole school initiatives. They will meet with parents and relevant school staff in order to do this. It is the schools responsibility to prioritise pupils that they wish the LD teacher to see. 

LD staff are always flexible and will endeavour to support the schools needs to the best of their ability.     


The LD Team will accept referrals if the pupil is:


·         Has reached their fifth birthday.

·         Attends a Bradford maintained mainstream school.

·         Has a statement of SEN issued by Bradford where LSS is specified in the provision but may attend a Bradford Academy or a local but different authority school. (E.g. Leeds, Calderdale, Kirklees.)


The LD Team provides a service to schools, children parents and carers.


The LD team is essentially a service to schools. The following are the range of services that the team can provide to schools.


  • Assessment of pupil’s strengths and weaknesses in order to identify a learning difficulty OR if the learning difficulty is already understood by schools to offer appropriate recommendations to enable the pupil’s to progress
  • Support to schools to develop and manage provision for SEN in their school.
  • Advice to schools on Quality First Teaching (QFT) strategies to ensure that all pupils with LD are fully included
  • Bespoke training to schools to help them to implement any recommendations that we may make
  • Locality training for SENCOs on a range of learning difficulties such as Dyslexia, Motor Co-ordination Difficulties and Thinking Skills
  • Advice and support to help schools to understand and implement current SEN legislation
  • Support to roll out government initiatives which include the Inclusion Development Programme (IDP) for Dyslexia and Speech Language and Communication
  • Training for Teaching Assistants to meet the needs of SEN pupils in schools
  •  Specific speech language and communication courses (ELKLAN) for school support staff
  • A lead roll on reading projects such as ‘Catch Up’
  • Modelling multisensory lessons for key school staff
  • Time limited teaching from LSS PIMs for individually targeted pupils using multisensory methodologies. Schools are requested to provide an appropriate member of staff to shadow this provision
  • LD ICT assessments on request
  •  Liaison with parents and carers through the school

Access to Services


  • Schools are allocated a link teacher.
  • The SENCO and LD teacher will agree on the priorities for input which may include referrals for individual pupils
  • LD pupils are NOT referred via a TSSR.




Dyslexia is part of the spectrum of specific learning difficulties. When you suspect a pupil of having a specific difficulty such as dyslexia you tend to see a spiky profile with weaknesses in the acquisition of literacy skills. Not all children who present with literacy difficulties have a spiky profile but may have clusters of difficulties associated with dyslexia.

Defining dyslexia still remains a contentious issue due to the nature of the difficulties and the fact that no two pupils with dyslexia present with the same difficulties.  The Learning Difficulties Team use Gavin Reid’s definition who is a well respected expert in the field.

"Dyslexia is a processing difference, often characterised by difficulties in literacy acquisition affecting reading, writing and spelling.  It can also have an impact on cognitive processes such as memory, speed of processing, time management and automaticity.  There may be visual and/or phonological difficulties and there are usually some discrepancies in educational performances.

There will be individual differences and individual variation and it is therefore important to consider learning styles and the learning and work context when planning intervention and accommodations."

(Reid G, 2009,  Dyslexia A Practitioners Handbook.  John Wiley and Sons Ltd)

What Our Team Offers.

Within our team there is a core of highly qualified and experienced specialist teachers who can assess, diagnose and teach children with dyslexia.  In addition we have specialist inclusion mentors who can deliver individualised bespoke programmes to children with a range of literacy difficulties.

Before you refer a pupil for a dyslexia assessment, please follow the steps outlined in the attached information sheet below:

Dyslexia Guidance for Schools


Speech Language and Communication Needs 

The Learning Difficulties Team can assess the SLCN needs of pupils and provide advice on strategies and resources to meet their needs in the classroom.

The following documents are tools for school to use to identify initial SLCN and they also make recommendations for provision at Wave 1.

Stages of Speech and Language Development (birth to five)

Primary Checklist

Secondary Checklist

QFT Strategies for SLCN

Top Ten Tips for SLCN

As the knowledge and skills of staff are key in meeting the needs of pupils with SLCN, we have also included self-evaluation tools to support the continuing professional development of adults working with pupils with SLCN.

Self-evaluation document from the IDP

A whole school approach is also vital. These documents enable schools to audit their environment for communication friendly features. Further documents indicate best practice for communication friendly schools.

Audit for Communication Friendly School (Primary)

Audit for Communication Friendly School (Secondary)

Features of a Communication Friendly School (Primary)

Features of a Communication Friendly School (Secondary)

Below is an information booklet to support NQTs in meeting the needs of pupils with SLCN.

SLCN Information Booklet for NQTs

Strategy factsheets from ICAN to support:

Visit the ICAN Website for more resources

 Click on the posters to download


Follow the link to access the Talking Trouble website. Here you will find information about the barriers that young people with speech language and communication difficulties face.


Motor Skills 


Children with motor coordination difficulties appear inattentive, often off task and clumsy. They tend to surprise us in the classroom as they are often very able verbally but they fail to make the progress we expect of them. These children tend to puzzle and frustrate us. They can be withdrawn and poorly behaved in the classroom. It is often not their physical difficulties that we notice but their very poor fine motor skills and a dislike of putting pencil to paper at all.

It is important to identify these children as early as possible. The longer we wait the more damage may be done to their self esteem and progress in school. Sadly many of these children will be excluded as their frustration and behaviour deteriorate particularly when asked to write.                                                                                                      


What Are Motor Coordination Difficulties

Essentially and simply it is an immaturity in the physical development of a child. A child gains motor control from the head downwards to toes and from the midline out to hands and fingers. A child with motor difficulties will have reached physical milestones such as sitting independently late.

Children and babies learn by taking in information through their senses, making sense of it and responding to it. For this to happen successfully their senses need to work together and provide accurate information from the environment. The following senses need to work together effectively to allow us experience, interpret and respond appropriately to stimuli in our environment. 

For more information click on these links.


The ability to bring all the information from our senses together is called perception. Children with motor coordination difficulties struggle with this because:

  • information is relayed very slowly through the nervous system to the brain and some of it is lost
  • faulty information is transmitted from their senses
  • they have difficulty making sense of the incoming information.

The Big Issue

The numbers of children of children with some element of motor skills difficulty is increasing greatly. The majority of these children will never meet the criteria for any formal recognition of their difficulties. If referred on to health, parents are very likely to be told that their physical skills are well within normal limits and no intervention will be forthcoming. Yet for these children their progress in school is greatly compromised by their difficulties and without intervention to correct the problem they will fail in school. It is for these children who do not meet the criteria for a diagnosis that we have developed this website.

I recently screened a Year 1 class in quite an affluent area. Out of 28 children, they all had some level of difficulty.

The following profile sheets will I hope help us to develop an awareness of who these children are. They are not tick lists and we do not have to enter lots of ticks for us to look further at their needs. Any ticks should alert us to the possibility of a problem and through discussion with parents and a very simple screening we should be able to identify children who need intervention. I would also recommend a routine whole class screening of all children in the Foundation Stage. The earlier we start the better chance we have of stopping difficulties developing further.

Click on the links below for motor skills assessment sheets.



Why The Increase in Numbers

As soon as they are born children begin to interact with their environment. They explore with their limbs and senses and are naturally inquisitive. This is how children begin to learn. They integrate information from all of their senses and through play children practise and perfect movements. Through this they develop purposeful connections in their brain which underpin all learning. Motor development influences social, emotional and intellectual development. Unless children are given adequate opportunities to develop and refine their motor skills then they will not be ready to successfully undertake the more formal learning provided in school.

There are no known causes of motor coordination difficulties, but links have been made to the following.

Click on the links below for more details.



For more motor skills advice click on the links below



 Developmental Dyscalculia was defined by the Department for Education and Skills (2001) as:

 “A condition that affects the ability to acquire arithmetical skills. Dyscalculic learners may have difficulty understanding simple number concepts, lack an intuitive grasp of numbers, and have problems learning number facts and procedures. Even if they produce a correct answer or use a correct method, they may do so mechanically and without confidence.”

 Indicators of Dyscalculia are: 

  • Difficulties understanding concepts of number and place value
  • Difficulties estimating quantity
  • Difficulties with money
  • Difficulties remembering sequences
  • Difficulties with telling the time

To support children with dyscalculic difficulties, it is important to identify their mathematical understanding and establish their misconceptions. This information should then inform personalised objectives to be incorporated into their daily teaching.   Teaching strategies should incorporate lots of over- learning, be cumulative and highly multi-sensory. 

What our team offers

Our team can assess pupils for Dyscalculia and provide you with advice and support to create and deliver bespoke programmes.  In addition we can provide training for teachers and support staff about identifying and supporting pupils with Dyscalculia. 

For further information about training and assessment, please contact your link teacher from the Learning Difficulties Team.

Below are some games and resources you may find useful.

Maths Ten Top Tips

Maths Ideas with Playing Cards and Dice

Maths Games to Play with a Pack of Cards

Rhyme to learn number bonds

Addacus: This is a structured programme that can be delivered on a one-to-one basis or in small groups. Follow the link for more information. If you require training using the Addacus programme, please contact your link teacher.

Numicon Programmes: These are resources that can be incorporated into maths teaching or used as an individual programme. Follow the link for more information

The Dyscalculia Toolkit by Ronit Bird: This is a tool kit with practical activities to teach key mathematical concepts.

Plus 1 and the Power of 2:  These books teach early maths skills and may be used as part of an individualised programme.

Dynamo Maths:  This is an online programme programme designed for pupils with dyscalculia or maths difficulties.

Catch-Up Numeracy: Teaching Assistants need to be trained to deliver this course.  The programme is a structured approach to teaching key number concepts.  Contact Nicola Robinson, Beth Roberts or Nicola Gaunt for more information about this programme. 


Catch Up Literacy and Numeracy   

Catch Up Literacy


Caroline Howarth from the Learning Difficulties Team ran a pilot of the Catch Up Literacy programme. Catch Up Literacy is a one-to-one intervention to develop reading skills. It involves structured 15 to 20 minute sessions taught twice-weekly. The project was very successful and children made accelerated gains in their reading ages. Click on the link to access the full  Catch-Up Literacy report of the project.

Catch Up Numeracy


Catch Up Numeracy is structured one-to-one intervention for pupils struggling with numeracy.  Nicola Robinson, Beth Roberts and Nicola Gaunt from the Learning Difficulties Team ran a pilot of this programme.  Please follow the link to read the report from this project.

Catch Up Numeracy Report

Follow the links below to find out more about Catch Up Literacy and Numeracy




20-20 Reading 

The Learning Difficulties Team offers training in schools for teaching assistants and volunteers to deliver an individual programme for struggling readers.

We have called it 20-20 because it consists of two twenty minute lessons a week.

The training is practical and informal and consists of two half day workshop sessions. Participants observe and have the opportunity to try for themselves the assessment and lesson activities. Follow up support can be arranged for schools once the programme is up and running.

For more information phone 01274 385833 and ask to speak to a member of Learning Difficulties Team about 20-20 reading.


Below are some comments from schools about the 20-20 Reading training:


 “Really enjoyed the training and believe I have gained valuable skills that will help me support the children I work with.”

“I think the reading intervention will be an excellent way to improve the children’s reading.”

“Fantastic training, I can’t wait to start the programme with my child.”

“Most of our teaching assistants now do 20/20 reading-an excellent intervention.”

20-20 Resources


Quality First Teaching 

Down Syndrome

Top Ten Tips for teaching pupils with Down Syndrome

See and Learn - This a range of resources to support children with Down Syndrome in the development of language, reading, memory and number skills

Down Syndrome Education International

Down Syndrome Training



Exam Access Arrangements 

A number of access arrangements can be put in place for candidates with special educational needs, disabilities or temporary injuries so they can access assessments.  The aim is to remove any disadvantage caused by their disability without affecting the integrity of the test.  For example: a pupil with Dyslexia may require a reader and a scribe to demonstrate his or her skill in History. 

Secondary Schools (Access Arrangements for GCE and Vocational Qualifications 

For GCE and vocational qualifications the regulations regarding exam access arrangements are up-dated every year. Below is a downloadable version of the access arrangements for 2013/2014.

Assessment for exam access arrangements in secondary schools needs to be carried out by a suitably qualified person.  Details regarding this can be found in the regulations below.  If you do not have a suitably qualified person in your school, members of the Learning Difficulties Team can provide this service.  Please contact Jeanne Stitt or your link teacher for details.

Schools need to have an effective screening process in place from Year 7.  This will enable schools to identify pupils’ needs early and ensure that any additional support is part of their normal way of working.   Assessment for exam access arrangements should take place towards the end of year 9 as most arrangements last for 26 months. If you require advice about setting up screening procedures, please contact your link teacher from the Learning Difficulties Team.  We can also provide training  for Readers and Scribes.

Regulations for Exam Access Arrangements 2013/2014
 Follow the link for Access Arrangement Forms on the JCQ Website     
New information about arrangements for Dyslexic pupils/pupils with reading difficulties including details about the use of computer readers which can now be used in English reading papers
Form 8 - this is the form to be completed by the school and the specialist assessor - Section C is completed by the assessor.  It provides a profile of the pupil's learning difficulties (schools can create their own form but need to include all the information on the Form 8)

Form 8A - this form is to record details and qualifications of the school's assessor


Primary Schools (Access Arrangements for Key Stage 2 SATS)

In primary schools, pupils taking Key Stage 2 SATs can have special arrangements in place which reflect their needs and normal way of working.  Schools only have to make an application for: 

  • Additional Time – information about the criteria can be found below
  • Early Opening of Papers for Modifications
  • Compensatory Marks
  • Special Consideration

Applications should be made via the Access Arrangement section on the NCA Tools website.  Access arrangements' section of NCA tools opens for applications for additional time, early opening and compensatory marks opens on the 3rd Feb 2014.   Early opening  and special consideration deadline is 3rd March 2014.  Extra time deadline is the 14th April 2014.

All other arrangements such as a reader, a scribe, a transcript or using a word-processor may be provided if the pupil meets the criteria but no formal application is required.  However, for scribes, transcripts, word processors and technical/electrical aids schools must notify the NCA using forms downloadable from NCA Tools website. For more information follow the links below.

Please note that if a child has a Statement of Special Educational Needs additional time of up to 25% can be provided, at the school’s discretion, without an application.  

Types of access arrangement
Department of Education's website: Access Arrangements at Key Stage 2 SATs
Assessment and Reporting Arrangements at Key Stage 2
Frequently Asked Questions regarding access arrangements for Key Stage 2 SATs
Information about Readers
Information about Scribes
Information about using a Word Processor
Information about the evidence required for extra-time
Suggestions of tests that can be used to gain evidence for Section A (extra-time)



Precision Teaching Resources

How to use the Multi-Probe for Precision Teaching

The Multi-Probe

Maths Resources

Ten Top Tips for Maths

Maths Ideas with Playing Cards and Dice

Maths Games to Play with a Pack of Cards

Rhyme to teach number bonds to 10

Literacy Resources

Tips for Reading at Home (a resource to give to parents)

20-20 Resources

20-20 Reading Cue Cards

Writing Book

Working Memory Resources

Strategies to support children with working memory difficulties (primary)

Strategies to support pupils with working memory difficulties (secondary)

ICT Resources

Clicker 6 Tips


Details to be updated soon for September





Page owned by Jeanne Stitt, last updated on 10/06/2014. This page has been viewed 10,076 times.