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Church of England Academy

Cognition and Learning

Cognition and Learning:

This area of need refers to when support is required due to children learning at a slower rate than their peers, even with appropriate differentiation. Children may struggle to retain information, gain new information or use the information they have gained to connect learning together. Some children have specific learning needs such as dyslexia while others have a more generic learning need that affects more than one area of learning.


How can I support my child?


Children with cognition (understanding) and learning difficulties will learn at a slower pace than their peers.  Often children with cognition and learning difficulties have working memory difficulties.  Therefore, it is important to break learning activities down into small chunks and provide lots of opportunities for repetition (what we call 'overlearning').  Also allowing your child to take regular movement breaks (standing up and shaking out their arms and legs, running on the spot for 60 seconds, touching their toes and reaching to the sky etc.) can help them to refocus back on their learning if they are struggling. 


Below are some ideas of ways you can support your child with their learning:   


  • Flash cards are a great way to teach your child key words, but be careful not to overwhelm them. It is best to focus on four initially.  Once they can confidently identify and say all four words.  Remove one word and add in a new one.  Repeat this process, taking care not to rush substituting words.  It's better that your child feels really confident and secure with the words before they are removed. 
  • Phonics cards can be used in the same way as flash cards to support your child's sound recognition
  • Memory games are a great way to help children develop their capacity to remember information that is shared with them in all areas of learning and life.
  • Baking is an excellent activity to support with following instructions, developing mathematic skills and strengthening muscles required to use pencils, scissors and other tools safely and with control
  • Playing sport is a great way of developing coordination, gaining muscle strength and helping with overall upper body strength which supports children in a wide range of activities including listening and attention