EDM123-SENCO 2: Overcoming Barriers to Learning

Module Provider: Institute of Education
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Tim Williams

Email: timothy.williams@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
SENCO 2: Barriers to Learning is one of three modules specifically designed to meet the NCTL standards for the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination (SENCO Qualification). This module will explore common barriers to learning for students with special educational needs that exist within schools or other educational settings. It will focus on the concept and delivery of personalised learning through the delivery of the National Curriculum. It will explore the role of stakeholders (e.g. individual students, families, other professionals) and link this to effective practice. It is designed as a flexible module with specific sessions to be delivered by university staff, experienced SENCOs and Local Authority staff.


  • To increase the understanding of the individual barriers to learning and strategies for reducing these
  • To familiarise students with the various types of testing regimes, assessment and modifications to these
  • To explore the role of families and peers in learning
  • To develop an understanding of transition process and planning for this
  • To develop an understanding of the role of SENCO in identifying and accessing specialist support

Assessable learning outcomes:
Assessable outcomes
By the end of the module participants will:

  • Identify some of the common barriers to learning within a given context
  • Critically reflect on how their school identifies and meets the needs of children
  • Analyse and appropriately apply tools used in the assessment of students with additional needs to consider the effectiveness of their use in an educational setting
  • Be able to identify and access specialist support for an individual student
  • Consider the role of technology in removing barriers

Additional outcomes:

  • Students will have developed increased skills in the areas of written communication
  • Students will have the opportunity to develop networks of colleagues within their local area and wider Berkshire context
  • Explore best practice in relation to transition and planning for the future

Outline content:

  • Identification of learners with additional needs
  • Assessment of children with SEN
  • Barriers to achievement
  • Split primary and secondary session on testing regimes for learners with additional needs
  • Transition planning
  • Principles and strategies of behaviour management
  • Working with specialists and families

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

  • Presentations and lectures
  • Group discussions and short tasks
  • Primary and Secondary split sessions
  • Sessions may be delivered at the university, in schools, online and/or by Local Authorities
  • Independent study, including the use of the Virtual Learning Environment
Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 18
Guided independent study 182
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:
There will be one written assignment of 4-5,000 words. The topic and title is to be negotiated with the module convenor. It is designed to be a small scale research project about meeting the needs of SEN student/s in a school setting.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
Students must achieve 50%

Reassessment arrangements:
Resubmission within one calendar month of the notification of failure

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books: There are no required texts for this module.
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 31 March 2017

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