Cognition and Learning

This page describes the support available to schools and settings to support the needs of children and young people with Cognition and Learning needs.

Cognition and learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs and abilities:

  • global developmental delay (phrase often used in Early Years)
  • moderate learning difficulties (MLD)
  • severe learning difficulties (SLD)
  • profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD)
  • Specific learning difficulties (SpLD). This encompasses a range of conditions such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia (known as Developmental Coordination Disorder)

 Each SEND hub in North Yorkshire has:

  • Cognition and Learning Specialist Teachers (0-25) for Early Development,
  • Cognition and Learning Specialist Teachers (0-25) for Learning Difficulties,
  • Portage Home Visitors
  • Cognition and Learning Specialist Practitioners.

How can the Cognition and Learning team in the SEND hubs help your setting/school?

We can offer:

  • a detailed assessment of the child or young person’s specific needs and strengths
  • signposting to appropriate resources and evidence based interventions
  • modelling and coaching in relation to interventions, assessments, or how to support a child effectively in nursery or school
  • support to develop setting/school’s curriculum differentiation and personalised learning
  • recommending modifications and structuring of the learning environment;
  • developing setting/school’s understanding of the physical, emotional, behavioral and educational implications of moderate, severe or specific learning difficulties;
  • minor adaptations, specialist equipment and alternative ways of addressing the needs of young people with specific learning difficulties
  • support to develop a person-centred approach to managing transitions.
  • support to help parents facilitate their child’s development

They will liaise directly with parents to share information about their child or young person.

This support will be offered free of charge to children and young people 0-25 who meet the criteria for a core service:

  • Having significant SEND which requires more support than would usually be provided in a mainstream school or setting
  • School/setting have already assessed the child/young person’s needs, and completed approximately 2 cycles of intervention (assess, plan, do, review), but further support is needed.

The Cognition and learning Team are also able to give schools and settings generalised anonymised advice pre referral. This would be via phone or email. This support is in line with the SEN Code of Practice 2014. In this instance no personal details of a CYP will be shared- contact 

All of the above assessment, support and intervention is available on a traded basis via NYES for children and young people who do not meet criteria for a core service, or if additional training, professional development or hands on support is needed. A “top up” service is also available to enhance a core offer.

In addition to support from the Cognition and Learning team other professionals or agencies may be involved in supporting a CYP- the SEND hubs will allocate a keyworker who will coordinate this support and draw in other professionals if needed.

The Cognition and Learning Progression Pyramid

The Progression Pyramid has been developed by North Yorkshire Cognition and Learning specialist teachers.

Its purpose is to provide a clear, graduated pathway to requesting involvement and support from the Hub specialist services. The requirements and supporting resources are detailed in the accompanying Appendices.

 Its design began as a conversation between one of the specialist teachers and a school SENCo in 2012. Since then it has developed and been modified based on feedback from all NYCC schools. This is to ensure that it is a relevant and useful resource. The final update, completed in December 2020, followed a Review in the Summer Term 2020 when all North Yorkshire schools were invited to give comments and suggestions for any improvements. The resources listed below are the result of that review.

Progression Pyramid Resources

A4 Progression Pyramid poster

This illustrates the 2 cycles of assess/plan/do/review required prior to submitting a ‘Request for Involvement’ (RFI)

The ‘At a Glance’ pupil Profile – Primary

The ‘At a Glance’ pupil Profile – Secondary

Appendix 1 – Recognition 

Appendix 2 – Assessment  

Appendix 3 – Resources and Strategies

Appendix 4 – Monitor and Review


Additional Resources

‘Call Scotland’ resources including Apps

Addressing reading difficulties

ICT to support learners with dyslexia

Ipad Apps for learners with dyslexia

Supporting writing difficulties

Using the Ipad to support dyslexia


How Do I make a Request to the Service?

All requests for involvement from the Cognition and Learning Team should be made on the SEND hubs referral form. (link)


References/links to associated documents

Parents and professionals can seek additional information, advice or support from the *following charities and organisations;

National Association for Special Educational Needs (Nasen)

British Dyslexia Association

Down’s Syndrome Association

Dyspraxia Foundation

Fragile X Society

National Organisation for Foetal Alcohol Syndrome

SWAN UK (undiagnosed genetic conditions)

Genetic Disorders UK

Learning Disabilities

Independent Parent Special Education Advice (IPSEA)

ACE (formerly The Advisory Centre for Education)

*Please note this list is neither exhaustive nor denotes recommended or preferred groups, it is for information purposes only

Contact for more information