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Valence School

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Cognition & Learning

Cognition and Learning

I am Jo Johnson, the Sevenoaks Specialist Teacher for Cognition and Learning . I support primary and secondary schools in the Sevenoaks District.

What do we mean by Cognition and Learning?

Cognition and Learning (C and L) difficulties cover a wide range of needs, including moderate learning difficulties (MLD) where all aspects of learning are affected, and specific learning difficulties (SpLD) where one or more specific aspects of learning are affected, such as dyslexia or maths difficulties. If you have children with either moderate or specific learning difficulties, they fall under the ‘Cognition & Learning’ Dimension of need.

Often children with cognition and learning difficulties have other needs too, such as language and communication, social and emotional or physical difficulties. Some children may have global developmental delay or medical conditions, syndromes or injuries which affect their cognition and ability to learn at the same pace as their peers. Children and young people may need additional support for learning even when appropriate differentiation and adaptations to the curriculum have been made by the class teacher.

‘Support for learning difficulties may be required when children and young people learn at a slower pace than their peers, even with appropriate differentiation’ SEN Code of Practice


The Cognition and Learning Specialist Teacher for Sevenoaks deliver a variety of training sessions and Drop-Ins for teaching staff and professionals including:

Dyslexia (Core Training) looks at the current definitions of Dyslexia that are relevant for Kent Schools, the role of schools in identifying and responding to dyslexic pupils and classroom based strategies to support reading, writing and spelling.

Thank you - this will be so useful both professionally and for my own children. Really interesting and inspiring.

Maths for Struggling Learners (Core Training) explores the characteristics of a specific maths difficulty, the barriers struggling learners face, targeted strategies to support pupils individually and in the classroom.

Very clear & well delivered. Lots of practical advice & activities.

Phonics Refresher explores the importance of phonological awareness for blending, segmenting & spelling skills and through practical activities enables delegates to feel confident in delivering a phonics session to struggling learners.

From the point of view of someone who is very new to teaching phonics, this course has helped my confidence a lot.

Colourful Semantics consolidates prior knowledge for those who have attended the Speech and Language Workshop and explores how it can be used to support emerging writers as an alternative to scribing in the classroom. Jointly delivered with a Speech and Language Therapist.

The games and links to the curriculum were brilliant, and useful as a class teacher.

Adapting the Curriculum to include learners with SEND. This day course is aimed mainly at Key Stage 2 teachers and school leaders and is delivered by the STLS Team. A mixture of information - giving, time for sharing good practice, reflection and workshops will give teachers greater confidence in planning and adapting whole class lessons to support the inclusion of learners with SEND.

It has been so useful to get practical ideas, quick wins and talk to colleagues for support & ideas! Thank you!

Bespoke INSET and twilight training sessions are also available for school staff on request. Please complete the Bespoke Training Interest Form and clearly state your requirements.

We also run courses, specialised training events and conferences from time to time with invited outside speakers. Details can be found on the Sevenoaks STLS Training Calendar (in Training and Resources section).