General learning difficulties

Pupils with general learning difficulties are characterised by the following:

  • Weak understanding of instructions / information and curriculum vocabulary
  • Weak short / long term memory
  • Weak listening and concentration skills
  • Weak organisational skills
  • Weak literacy skills
  • Difficulty in making links or connections between aspects of lessons and learning

Teaching and learning strategies typically used by schools for pupils with general learning difficulties may include:

  • Help organise thoughts and answers by using writing frames, prompts or pupil to pupil talk
  • Provide subject specific key words to help with reading and spelling
  • Offer alternative methods of recording work, eg spider diagrams, mind maps, ICT, oral or tape
  • Offer differentiated tasks with clear achievable goals. Give clear instructions in both verbal and written form, broken down into manageable sized chunks
  • Question regularly to check understanding
  • Offer multi-sensory tasks and teaching styles
  • Repeat and reinforce instructions and information regularly
  • Encourage pupils to listen and concentrate when instructions are being given out
  • Needs to learn through demonstration and requires extra practice and talk opportunities
  • Encourage pupils to remain on task and complete work to a satisfactory standard
  • Encourage pupils to attend lessons with the correct books and equipment.
  • Assist with the writing of homework in homework diaries
  • Sensitively correct spelling mistakes
  • Provide clear advice to pupils on how to improve their work
  • Assist in the reading of worksheets and text