Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD)

The general level of academic attainment of these learners will be significantly lower than that of their peers. Their cognitive ability and/or attainment levels will be at or below the second percentile. Generally they will have difficulty acquiring literacy and numeracy skills. Other difficulties may include associated speech and language delay, low self-esteem, low levels of concentration and underdeveloped social skills.

Curriculum Resources for MLD

These curriculum resources are suitable for learners with moderate learning difficulties (MLD). They aim to provide teachers with support in the planning, teaching and assessment process within the classroom. All these units are aligned with the Northern Ireland Curriculum.

Literacy for Key Stage 3 Learners Literacy for Key Stage 3 Learners

These literacy units for Key Stage 3 learners with cognitive difficulties use engaging scenarios taken from the media around them to develop their literacy skills. They provide teachers with unitised teaching frameworks to enhance learning and make it more exciting, dynamic and effective for the learners.

Learning for Life and Work Learning for Life and Work

These resources give learners an opportunity to explore some of the issues and challenges that will face them as independent adults. LLW reading books have been developed to support the thematic units.

Assessment for MLD

Learners with statements of moderate learning difficulties will be assessed by teacher assessment in the same way as the majority of learners. In exceptional cases, a learner may be exempted from all or part of the assessment arrangements, if this is specifically provided for in their statement of special educational needs.

There may be other occasional and exceptional circumstances where the principal considers that it would be inappropriate to undertake teacher assessment. In such circumstances the learner may be exempted on a temporary basis from the statutory arrangements. Details of the circumstances and procedures for making temporary exceptions are set out in Circular 1990/45 issued by the Department of Education in August 1990.

A range of assessment frameworks have been developed to support teachers with the assessment process. All these frameworks are aligned with the Northern Ireland Curriculum.

Prerequisite Skills (Q Skills)Prerequisite Skills (Q Skills)

The Prerequisite Skills, or more commonly known as Q Skills, are an assessment resource to support teachers and classroom assistants. The Q Skills provide a broad and inclusive framework for assessing learners, taking into account age, cognitive ability, learning difficulties and other significant complex needs.

SEN Thinking Skills & Personal Capabilities frameworkSEN Thinking Skills & Personal Capabilities framework

The Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities framework aims to help learners develop their skills for lifelong learning and operating effectively in society. It includes information about progression maps, as well as supporting activities and resources.

Using Assessment TasksUsing Assessment Tasks

This guidance is for teachers of pupils with special educational needs (SEN) in mainstream and SEN sectors (Key Stage 1 & 2). It applies to using the CCEA Assessment Tasks relating to the Levels of Progression in Communication and Using Mathematics.