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: Eligibility: This module is compulsory for students of the PG Cert SENCo course. It can be selected as an optional module for MA In Education students wishing to complete the Inclusion Pathway subject to availability of places.
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2021/2

Module Convenor: Dr Anna Tsakalaki
Email: a.tsakalaki@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

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 external researchers or professionals working with pupils with SEND .


  • 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:

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 suppor t 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 intervention  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

  • 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, or online  

  • Independent study, including the use of the Virtual Learning Environment

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 18
Seminars 6
Guided independent study: 176
Total hours by term 0 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

There will be one written assignment of 3,000 words. It is designed to be a small scale research project about meeting the needs of SEN student/s in a school/ setting. The topic of assignment for MA students may be literature-based and will be 4,500 words.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

The below information applies to students on taught programmes except those on Postgraduate Flexible programmes. Penalties for late submission, and the associated procedures, which apply to Postgraduate Flexible programmes are specified in the policy “Penalties for late submission for Postgraduate Flexible programmes”, which can be found here: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/files/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmissionPGflexible.pdf
The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment 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: 26 October 2021


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