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
For more information and advice click on the links below:
Department of Children's Services
SEND Support Services
Cognition and Learning Team
Margaret McMillan Tower
Tel: 01274 439500
Who do we work with?
We work with pupils and staff in local mainstream settings and schools. The pupils we complete individual work with will have Speech, Language and Communication Needs, or Specific Learning Difficulties or Moderate Learning
Difficulties. These pupils will either already have an EHCP (Range 4) or be at Range 3 where advice is sought to support the EHCP assessment process. Access to our service for these pupils is on a referral basis. We only accept referrals from schools and settings.
It is important that this is completed by someone who knows the pupil well and who is responsible for planning their provision
We also offer advice and support for pupils at Range 2 through our Range Advice Packs, our advice sheets on our Team page on BSO, our workshops and core accredited courses. You can also speak to a member of our team on 01274 439500
How do we work with settings?
Once a referral has been accepted by the team as meeting the criteria above, the pupil’s name will then be entered onto the Team’s allocation list for discussion at our fortnightly allocation meeting. A member of the team will
contact the child’s school or setting following this meeting to arrange a date to work with the child, meet with staff in school and with parents, wherever possible. A report will then be completed detailing the outcomes of assessments completed and recommendations
for provision. Progress against these recommendations will be reviewed by a member of our team and staff in the school/setting after a period of 2 terms.
New Referral Documents
Baseline Assessment Tools
Baseline Assessment to Inform Future Planning and Target Setting (Primary)
Baseline Assessment to Inform Future Planning and Target Setting (Secondary)
Baseline Record Sheets (Primary)
Baseline Record Sheets (Secondary)
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 They can be withdrawn and poorly behaved in the classroom.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 Cognition and Learning 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.
Quality First Teaching
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 2017/2018.
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
Cognition and Learning Team can provide this service.
The costs for assessment are £60.00 per pupil. If there are less that 8 pupils the charge is £90.00 per pupil.
Please contact Fiona Whitaker if you require this service.
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. Formal assessment for exam access arrangements
need to be carried out by a suitably qualified person in year 9.
The Cognition and Learning Team have put together a day's training package on exam access arrangments.This will be running in January, dates to be confirmed.
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
Applications should be made via the Access Arrangement section on the
NCA Tools website
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.
Precision Teaching Resources
How to use the Multi-Probe for Precision Teaching
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
Tips for Reading at Home (a resource to give to parents)
Mnemonics - ways of remembering spellings
20-20 Reading Cue Cards
Working Memory Resources
Strategies to support children with working memory difficulties (primary)
Strategies to support pupils with working memory difficulties (secondary)
Memory Games Ideas
A Journey to Remember
What Can You Remember
The Sofa Game
Visual Sequences 2
Clicker 6 Tips
The Motor Skills Programme
Motor Skills Advice for Parents
Activities for Parents to do at Home
Developing Handwriting Skills
20-20 Reading Training Information - please contact your link teacher for more details
Alphabet ARC Training Information - please contact your link teacher for more details
SENCO Induction Training - see Q1 Brochure for details
Using Multi-Sensory Interventions to Support Children's Literacy
- see Q1 Brochure for details
Chatterbox Trainining - please contact your link teacher for more details
Thinking Skills - please contact your link teacher for more details
Motor Skills - please contact your link teacher for more details