Cognition & Learning

Team contact details

Please use the contact details below if you need any help or support with your child’s learning or if you have any other questions.

Judith Hughes           0151 511 6955   judith.hughes@halton.gov.uk
Specialist Teacher Cognition & Learning

Sharron Edwardson  0151 511 6568  sharron.edwardson@halton.gov.uk (Monday, Tuesday & Thursday morning)
Specialist Teacher Cognition & Learning

Sharon Passey           0151 511 6623   margaret.passey@halton.gov.uk
Specialist Teacher Cognition and Learning



About the Cognition and Learning Service

The Cognition and Learning Service consists of a team of specialist teachers who are qualified to postgraduate/masters level in special educational needs and are committed to working in partnership with schools, parents and other professionals to raise standards of achievement for pupils with Cognition and Learning Difficulties. Support to schools may include any or all of the following:

  • Individual assessments in order to further identify the strengths and needs of the pupil
  • Specific strategies and resources to support individual pupils or groups of pupils
  • Tailor-made programmes or specific interventions to support pupils
  • Advice and/or training for teaching staff to help inform and plan appropriate teaching strategies and possible interventions to help ameliorate difficulties experienced by children
  • Suggestions to ensure that the child has access to the full curriculum
  • Suggestions to help parents support their children at home.


Supporting information

Visual Processing

 What is Visual Processing ?

It is the brain’s ability to process and interpret what the eyes see.  It includes how the eyes work together (binocular vision), tracking of the eyes whilst reading, making fast eye movements, visual comfort and the perceptual aspects of vision. If we have difficulties in any of these areas then this could impact on our ability to read and spell.

Further information on this can be found on the link: https://www.whh.nhs.uk/services/orthoptics/orthoptic-visual-processing-difficulties-clinic


Cognitive Load and working memory

Each person’s working memory is limited and can vary in the amount of information it can hold. We can only remember so much before our brain becomes overloaded. The Cognitive Load Theory examines how to teach children who have limited working memories and maximise their learning.


The Alphabet

Do children really need to learn the alphabet?

Children use letter sounds when starting to read and spell however when they get older, spellings are learnt using letter names. Children need to be able to match both upper and lower case letters to the correct letter name. Alphabetical order is important as it is used to organise and sort information in dictionaries, glossaries, registers, libraries and indexes in books.


Handwriting and Fine Motor Skills

Handwriting is a complex process that involves numerous skills such as: posture, hand control, finger control, bilateral integration, visual perception and motor memory. Difficulties with handwriting can become very frustrating for some children who have great ideas but can’t get them down on paper.

Further information on Fine motor skills activities – Occupational Therapy Advice Sheet

Phonological Awareness

Phonological awareness is defined as the ability to identify, blend and manipulate the sounds in words, and is recognised as a key foundation skill for early word-level reading and spelling development.


Pre Literacy Checklist 1994
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