Cognition and Learning Service

This service works with schools to ensure the effective inclusion, achievement and progression of children and young people with cognition and learning needs.

This page aims to provide parents and carers with advice, guidance and resources.

The following documents will help you to understand cognition and learning, the services we offer and the training available:

How to Make a Referral

We accept requests for involvement from:

  • Schools (usually the SENDCO)
  • Other colleagues in the Council's SEND Support Services

Please complete the SEND Support Services Request for Involvement Form and Parent / Carer Consent Form. The eligibility criteria for each service is listed on each of these forms. 

View the Request for Involvement page

Download the Parent / Carer Consent form 

Once we have received the request for involvement and parental permission has been obtained, we will contact the school to arrange a visit to meet key staff and assess the needs of the student. We are usually able to visit the school within four weeks of receiving the referral. However, this can vary throughout the year. We share advice with key school staff, parents/carers and the student and produce a report outlining agreed actions and objectives.

For further information and guidance please see our resources drop-downs below:

Further Support and Resources

Working memory provides temporary storage and manipulation of information needed for learning. The links below provide guidance to support working memory.

Phonological awareness is conscious sensitivity to the sound structure of language. It is the awareness of the units of sounds - which may be phonemes - but may be rimes, onsets or syllables. Children who have good phonological awareness identify that when they say b-a-t, the word is 'bat'. They can say all sounds in the spoken word 'dog’ and know that if the last sound in the word 'cart' is removed, the word changes to 'car'. The links below provide guidance on phonological awareness.

Processing speed is a way of describing how the brain receives, understands and responds to information. Slow processing speed is related to literacy and maths skills. It can cause a learner to fall behind their peers, become frustrated, and form negative associations with learning. These experiences can make learners think they aren’t good at school, causing low self-esteem and a lack of self-confidence. The links below provide guidance on processing speed.

Dyslexia affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling. Dyslexia occurs across the range of abilities. The links below provide guidance on supporting your child’s dyslexia.

Children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) often find transition particularly challenging. The links below have suggestions for what settings can do to ensure transitions are as smooth as possible for SEND learners.


Children who read for enjoyment every day develop a broad vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures. The links below provide support in helping your child to read.

Helping your child with reading:

Whole Word Reading Apps:

Maths is an important part of learning because it provides vital life skills. It helps with number, problem solving, measuring and spatial awareness. 

Helpful guidance created by the Cornwall Cognition and Learning Service contains tips and ideas to help your child to learn their spellings and to write in a fun and purposeful way:

Gross motor skills help tasks such as standing, walking, jumping, and sitting upright. They also help with hand-eye coordination tasks such as ball skills. Fine motor skills are used for pencil and scissor control. They help with activities such as making and preparing things, doing up buttons, using cutlery and opening lunch boxes.

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