Learners with GLD – General Learning Difficulties

GLD pathway

Pupils with GLD have a classification of mild, moderate, severe or profound degree of learning disability.  These learners often experience significant barriers to learning and retention.  There are many barriers that pupils with GLD can face in education and at Elm Tree School, our aim is to reduce and overcome these barriers to learning through teaching in a way that ensures enjoyment, relevance and progress matched to the learning capacity of that individual.

Many learners with GLD encounter the following barriers

  • Lower intellectual ability
  • Significant impairment of social or adaptive functioning
  • Significant reduced ability to understand new or complex information; or to learn new skills
  • A reduced ability to learn independently
  • Poor short term memory and problem solving
  • Issues with motor and mobility
  • Issues with self-care which may affect; hygiene, diet and exercise
  • May be an imbalance of receptive and expressive language skills 

In the GLD provision, we adopt teaching strategies that adopt visual reinforcements of verbal instructions, clear visual timetables with pictures and give plenty of preparation for transitions.

Experiential learning is important and we teach skills in context so they have learning relevance to cement and help retain.

A sensory-based approach is used to encourage interaction and adult support to assist with development of new skills taught is required to help learners stay on task and understand the concepts they are learning.  Much focus is on repetitive teaching of new skills as this helps to overcome the retention barriers of our learners with GLD.

 

Communication and interaction in the GLD classroom.

At Elm Tree we ensure that communication is clear, with simple language and short sentences and go to great lengths to explain any difficult or unfamiliar words with use of visual prompts to support understanding/convey meaning.

Processing time is key to all students and patience and repetition is often required to re enforce instructions and learning.

We use gestures to emphasise your communication - e.g. point to the part of the body you are talking about, as body language is a key communicating tool for learners with GLD.

We utilise pictures or objects to demonstrate and model before, during and after teaching to further cement retention– adult modelling is key to help these learners progress and develop

The classroom provision has a large focus on picture books, visual/audio cues and routines to help with communicating and understanding

Repetitive teaching of new skills is also required as learners with GLD have less developed retention skills needing constant revisiting and use of learnt skills.

We have recently subscribed to the Cornerstones curriculum development package whereby teachers can build and develop their own curriculum, incorporating themes and topics that are aligned with the needs of the pupils in their classes. We are very excited to use this flexibility to encourage progression for all pupils and devolp a bespoke learning package for all specialist areas.

Cornerstones curriculum home page - https://cornerstoneseducation.co.uk/

GLD Class timetable

Mon

Tues

Wed

Thurs

Fri

 

Breakfast 8.45 – 9.10

 

Daily walk /gym and talk time (3 laps of front playground per day to complete weekly mile) 9:15-9:30

09.30 – 10:20

English

Phonics

Writing

Reading

English

Phonics

Writing

Reading

English

Phonics

Writing

Reading

English

Phonics

Writing

Reading

Assembly 9:30

 9:50- 10:20

Group reading and writing activity.

10:20- 11:00

 

Maths

 

Maths

 

Maths

 

Maths

 

Maths

 

Break 11:00 – 11.15

11:15 – 11:30

Snack

Counting/Times tables

Snack

Counting/Timestables

Snack

Counting/Timestables

Snack

Counting/Timestables

Snack

Counting/Timestables

11:30- 12:30

Art/ Thrive activity

12:00

PPA PSHE

 

Science

 

Topic/Swimming

 

Cooking/ Topic

 

Topic

 

Lunch options and Family service lunch 12:30- 13.15

1.20 – 2.20

PPA time

12:00 – 2.45pm

PE & PSHE

 

 

ICT

 

Topic/Swimming

 

Cooking/ Topic

 

Art/ creative/ sensory time

2.20 – 2.50

Thrive/ OT target time/ Physical development/Music

2:50- 2:55

Wind down time and buses

 

The GLD class timetable shows a clear difference to that of a mainstream model as we concentrate on key English and Maths skills throughout every morning but focus on themes and physical development in the afternoons.  These lessons are methodical and highly supported by our teaching staff and move at a slower progress rate than those lessons of other classes around school.  The teaching of these basic key skills is repetitive and cyclic to ensure maximum retention and concrete progress.  Thrive input runs through every lesson and the ethos is to support, engage, develop and grow for every pupil.

The afternoon curriculum is more project based using a theme and delivery of many aspects of that theme through a cross-curricular format.  Community participation, outings to places of interest and natural beauty to accompany their academic focus is a great way of making the learning relevant to these pupils.  Experiences stay in the memory and can be used to develop other skills, recounts, reviews, experiences and associated learning are all key areas of focus for the GLD class pathway.

Lots of emphasis is also on physical development so swimming, PE and dance are all incorporated into the weekly timetable as well as specialist intervention opportunities for O/T, Thrive and SALT to help develop individual and group EHCP and curricular targets.

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