If you have answered ‘Yes’ to some of these questions, then the pupil may have a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) and you will have to make reasonable adjustments in class to remove potential barriers to their learning.

Key Stage 1

  1. Literacy

    If you answer ‘Yes’ to some of these questions, then the pupil may have a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) and you will have to make reasonable adjustments in class to remove potential barriers to their learning.

    • Poor phonological awareness
       
    • Substituting visually similar words e.g. cat/cot when reading
       
    • Poor letter formation
       
    • Difficulties with phoneme / grapheme correspondence
       
    • Confusing visually similar letters – e.g. n/u, b/d, m/w, f/t when writing
       
    • Lack of spacing between words when writing
       
    Language
    • Speech unclear
       
    • Short sentences
       
    • Limited vocabulary
       
    • Level of understanding not as expected for age
       
    Fine / Gross Motor Skills
    • Difficulty with fine motor skills e.g. bead threading, using scissors etc.
       
    • Poorly formed letters / shapes
       
    • Unusual / awkward pen grip
       
    • Poor posture
       
    • Lack of co-ordination / ‘clumsiness’
       
    • Difficulty with ball / racquet sports
       
    Word finding difficulties / Difficulty with recall
    • Often know what they want to say, but cannot find the right word /forgets words
       
    • Difficulty retelling a story
       
    • Recall of previous learning
       
    Organisation and sequencing
    • Difficulty thinking about the order of events when performing a task or telling a story
       
    • Personal organisation: school bag, PE kit, dressing
       
    • Mixes up today/tomorrow/yesterday and days of the week
       
    • Often ‘loses’ things
       
    Short term / working memory
    • Problems remembering a sequence of numbers, or the alphabet
       
    • Difficulty with days of the week
       
    • Listening for information / following instructions – ‘forgets’ what s/he has to do
       
    Attention
    • Easily distracted in class / difficulty concentrating
       
    • Needs plenty of reinforcement to stay ‘on-task’ / day-dreaming
       
    Maths
    • Confusion /reversal of numbers, e.g. 9/6, 2/5
       
    • Difficulty with number order, number bonds to 10 etc.
       
    • Difficulties with the concept of time
       
    Processing (Working) Speed
    • Often takes longer than peers to complete work in class
       
    • Needs plenty of reinforcement
       
    • Takes longer than peers to formulate answers (written and verbal)
       
    Phonological Awareness
    • Difficulty with rhyme detection
       
    • Difficulty identifying phonemes (auditory)
       
    • Difficulty ‘sounding out’ simple words / segmenting and blending
       

Key Stage 2

  1. Reading

    If you answer ‘Yes’ to some of these questions, then the pupil may have a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) and you will have to make reasonable adjustments in class to remove potential barriers to their learning.

    • Weak word attack skills affecting reading comprehension
       
    • Hesitant / slow reading – lack of fluency
       
    • Poor reading accuracy: inserting/missing words, ‘guessing’ at words, ignoring punctuation
       
    • Substituting visually similar words e.g. cat/cot
       
    • Indications of visual stress when reading: blinking, rubbing eyes, fatigue
       
    • Poor tracking when reading, re-reading same line / missing lines
       
    • Mis-match between listening and reading comprehension
       
    Writing and spelling
    • Messy handwriting – poor presentation
       
    • Confusing similar letters – e.g. n/u, b/d, m/w, f/t.
       
    • Weak fine motor skills resulting in poor letter formation / drawing skills
       
    • Mixing up / reversing words e.g. was/saw on/no
       
    • Transposals – e.g. split for spilt
       
    • Spellings may sometimes appear ‘bizarre’ / poor phonological awareness
       
    • Inconsistency in spelling
       
    • Difficulty copying from board
       
    • Difficulty reading / understanding own work
       
    • Inconsistent use of capital letters, missing words
       
    • Little or no use of paragraphs, lack of structure
       
    • Word finding difficulties / Difficulty in recall
       
    • Often frustrated as s/he knows what they want to say, but cannot find the right words or can forget words
       
    • Retelling a story from memory (immediate recall)
       
    • Recall of previous learning
       
    • Difficulty with organisation and sequencing
       
    • Telling or writing a story, breaking a task down into steps
       
    • Personal organisation: school bag, PE kit, timetable, clothing
       
    • Mixes up times / dates / days of week, months of year, today/tomorrow/yesterday
       
    • Confuses positional language and directions e.g. left/right, before/after
       
    Short term and working memory
    • Problems remembering a sequence of numbers, letters
       
    • Difficulty with days of the week, months of the year
       
    • Mental Maths (difficulty holding on to numerical information for calculation)
       
    • Multiplication tables, mathematical formulae
       
    • Listening for information / following instructions
       
    Maths
    • Confusion /reversal of numbers, e.g. 16/61 and maths symbols e.g. + and x
       
    • Difficulty with memorising number bonds, multiplication tables
       
    • Difficulty understanding mathematical concepts e.g. place value
       
    • Problems with reading and understanding Maths questions
       
    • Difficulty with written calculations: confusion with order of calculations, mistakes caused by inaccurate copying / disorganised lay-out
       
    • Difficulties telling the time, time-management , concept of time
       
    • Slow information processing – takes longer than peers e.g. with mental maths
       
    Processing (Working) Speed
    • Often takes longer than peers to complete work in class
       
    • Under performs during timed tasks
       
    • Takes longer than peers to formulate answers (written and verbal)
       
    Phonological Awareness
    • Unwittingly producing spoonerisms in speech e.g. car park / par cark
       
    • Poor sound insertion/deletion skills
       
    • Difficulty with non-word reading (nonsense words)
       
    • Poor spelling ability with regular and irregular words
       

Key Stage 3

  1. Oral language

    If you answer ‘Yes’ to some of these questions, then the pupil may have a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) and you will have to make reasonable adjustments in class to remove potential barriers to their learning.

    • Difficulty reading aloud
       
    • Poorly articulated speech
       
    • Brief delay in verbal responses
       
    • Word finding difficulties
       
    • Slow processing, takes longer than peers to formulate answers
       
    Auditory Processing
    • Weak auditory discrimination; confuses similar-sounding words
       
    • Asks for / needs repetition
       
    • Mis-hears or confuses what people say
       
    • Difficulty listening when background noise
       
    • History of hearing difficulties (if yes, then this could be the reason for difficulties with auditory processing)
       
    Reading and comprehension
    • Reading aloud is slow, hesitant / pupil avoids reading aloud
       
    • Reading accuracy: misses words, confuses visually similar words/letters, inserts words
       
    • Poor tracking – misses / repeats lines when reading or loses place
       
    • Uses finger to track when reading
       
    • Takes longer than peers to complete silent reading tasks in class
       
    • Low levels of reading comprehension
       
    • Signs of visual discomfort when reading (blinking, rubbing eyes, fatigue, text blurring)
       
    Spelling
    • Inconsistency in spelling choices / phonetic spelling / seemingly ‘bizarre’ spellings
       
    • Missing out letters or syllables when spelling
       
    • Letter confusion e.g. b/d
       
    Writing production
    • Reluctance to produce written work
       
    • Quality of written work does not reflect ability
       
    • Poor handwriting and messy presentation
       
    • Inconsistency with use of upper case letters
       
    • Writing appears immature / large, writes in print not cursive script
       
    • Unusual / awkward pen grip
       
    • Inaccurate copying of text / takes longer than peers to copy from board
       
    • Difficulty taking notes in class
       
    • Poor letter formation
       
    • Difficulty organising writing / getting ideas onto paper / getting started
       
    • Punctuation: inconsistencies, lack of, not used appropriately
       
    Processing speed
    • Often seems to need longer thinking time
       
    • Under-performs under timed conditions
       
    • Difficulty ‘keeping up’ in class
       
    Short term and working memory
    • Finds it hard to hold verbal information in working memory
       
    • Poor memory for number bonds/tables/formulae
       
    • Often needs instructions repeated
       
    Sequencing
    • Poor sequential memory – order of things
       
    • Difficulty with sequences e.g. months of year
       
    • Difficulty remembering and working with sequenced information
       
    Number
    • Poor recall of number bonds / multiplication tables
       
    • Difficulty with place value
       
    • Difficulty telling the time
       
    • Weakness with mental arithmetic (especially at speed)
       
    • Confuses mathematical symbols
       
    Organisation
    • Often loses/forgets things needed
       
    • Late handing work in / late for class
       

    Motor skills and co-ordination
    • Poor balance / co-ordination, may appear accident prone
       
    • Weak hand/eye coordination (struggles with ball sports)
       
    • Difficulty in fine motor skills: writing, drawing