Learning Difficulties

What we do for children with learning difficulties

 It is important that learning is tailored to the individual, otherwise learners may become disengaged or overly dependent on the support of an adult. In school, lessons are differentiated to make tasks accessible for all learners and play to their strengths.  This means that teachers take care when planning lessons to pitch new content at a challenging, but attainable, level.

Adult support

Whilst we do not believe that it is in a child’s best interests for an adult to be always at hand as this discourages independent learning behaviours, an adult will ensure that the child understands the task at the outset and will check-in at various points in the lesson to make sure that the child remains on-track. 

Liaison with external agencies

Children with the greatest level of need may have an Educational Health Care (EHC) Plan following assessment by Havering’s Children and Adults with Disabilities team. In this instance, children receive support from Learning Support Assistants within school to work on clearly defined, personalised targets set out in their statement or EHCP for a specified number of hours each week; please note it is always our intention that children will develop, as far as possible, independent thinking and avoid over-reliance on this adult support. Progress is closely monitored and parents/carers will be invited to regular reviews.


All children in school are set termly targets linked to the National Curriculum. Whereas most children will have targets specific to their current year group, this is not appropriate for a small number of our children. Therefore, these children will have individualised targets which can be worked on both in school and at home.

Transition to Secondary School

It is important that all children experience a smooth transition when they move schools; in order to facilitate this, some children will have an individual meeting with a representative from the new school which parents are also welcome to attend. This will give school staff and the child a chance to get to know one another, to address any anxieties and to discuss strategies that work for the child.

How parents/carers can help

  • Encourage your child to work towards their individual targets which will be sent out to you each term. Define your child’s success in terms of the effort they put into meeting these targets, rather than comparing them to peers in their class or to what siblings could do at a similar age.
  • Have an area in the home and a set time for your child to complete home learning tasks, including reading and maths. Teachers will match the tasks to your child’s ability.
  • Encourage children to complete manageable tasks on their own, so that they learn to be as independent as possible.
  • Maintain regular contact with the school, including the class teacher, and ask if you have any queries or feel you need additional support. Be familiar with how the school approaches SEND by reading the annual SEND Information report, available on the website under Inclusion.

Local support

SNAP (Special Needs And Parents) is an Essex charity for families with children and young people who have any special need or disability. For more information, see their website at www.snapcharity.org. Individuals don’t need a formal diagnosis to access this service and there is also support available for siblings.