Moderate Learning Difficulties

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Introduction

A child with greater difficulties than their peers with making progress within all areas of the curriculum despite effective teaching which is not due to factors such as:

  1. Learning English as an additional language
  2. Social deprivation and/or disrupted education
  3. Sensory impairment
  4. Emotional disturbance

The child may present with generalised difficulties in understanding, thinking, problem solving and retaining information, concepts and skills as well as difficulties in:

  1. Attention and listening
  2. Concentration and on task behaviour
  3. Literacy and numeracy skills
  4. Self-organisation
  5. Making links between different areas of learning and generalising to everyday experience
  6. Visual, practical and spatial/physical learning

Children with MLD likely to be attaining at:

  • F1 (3-4 year olds): 9 – 24 months delay
  • F2 (4-5 year olds): 12 – 30 month delay
  • KS1: P6 – 7
  • KS2: P7 – NCY 1 age expectations
  • KS3: NCY 1 – 2 age expectations
  • KS4: NCY 2 – 3 age expectations

Quality first Teaching

  1. Differentiated lesson planning/delivery modified in terms of:
    1. level (ie, focusing on key learning outcomes and drawing on earlier programmes of study as appropriate with learning targets broken down into smaller achievable steps)
    2. pace (ie, extra time for responses to questions, contributing to class discussions and to complete activities)
    3. approach (ie, multi-sensory, related to the child’s everyday experience, emphasis on direct experience and practical activities including appropriate use of ICT)
    4. output (ie, alternative ways to record learning, eg, oral, photographic, video, highlighting text, mindmaps, etc)
  2. Cueing and reinforcing children’s listening/attention
  3. Checking understanding and reinforcing as required through repetition, rephrasing, explaining & demonstration
  4. Demonstrating tasks (what the finished product looks like)
  5. Opportunities for pre-teaching, overlearning and reinforcement
  6. Use of classroom learning aids (eg, subject specific word mats, writing frames, number lines, ICT, etc)
  7. Use of topic maps to link current learning to previous learning
  8. Explicit teaching to support generalisation of skills
  9. Use of peer support
  10. Visual supports to support understanding including pictures, signs, symbols, models, examples, ICT, etc
  11. Modelling and teaching study skills (eg, having a plan to complete the task, problem solving skills, etc)
  12. Supporting personal organisation (eg, using resources, organising equipment, etc)
  13. Physical environment that is organised and well-defined and labelled using written and visual cues

SEN Support

up to 5 hours individual teaching/13 hours teaching assistant support per week (or a mix of the two as appropriate) and/or the provision of equipment that is not normally available for:

  1. Assessment of child’s learning skills leading to an appropriately targeted intervention programme planned in partnership with the child and their family and as advised by an outside agency where involved
  2. Individual/small group programmes reinforced by appropriate ICT on language, literacy and numeracy skills, pre-teaching and reinforcing curriculum learning, study skills, etc, as appropriate
  3. Classroom support to prompt and generalisation of skills taught as part of individual/small group programmes
  4. Child’s baselines and subsequent progress accurately monitored and provision regularly reviewed and adjusted in line with their progress over a sustained period (ie, at least 2 terms).