Happy Learners Glossary

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Glossary of terms and abbreviations:




Individual Educational Plan. An Individual Educational Plan is a document recording targets designed to help meet the needs of a child with Special Educational Needs. In many schools these have been replaced with Provision Maps.


Intelligence Quotient - A standardised score representing the results of a test designed to measure cognitive ability. IQ scores attract a lot of controversy. They only measure a part of our cognitive potential and may be subject to cultural bias. For example a professional sportsmen who did not do well in a conventional IQ test might with investigation using neuroscientific tools demonstrate superior cognitive functioning in visual spatial and kinaethetic cognitive functions for example.

Intrinsic motivation

This is doing things because of your own internal goals, aspirations, desires and needs. Intrinsic motivation comes from within you. Compare to extrinsic rewards.


Joint Attention

The curiosity and interest to find out what others are attending to. Developmentally this achieved by about 1 year.


Key Stage

In the UK the National Curriculum is divided in to Key Stages which correspond with the structure of schools: Key Stage One is Infant School (Year 1 & 2); Key Stage Two Juniors (Year 3, 4, 5 & 6) and Key Stage Three corresponds with first three years of secondary (Year 7, 8 & 9).

Klinefelter Syndrome

A genetic condition affecting boys only. It is caused by having an additional X chromosone. Boys with the condition will develop differently often growing taller than peers but having weaker muscle strength and problems with sexual maturity. They have a high risk of having learning difficulties, weak language skills and may also experience difficulties in their relationships with peers.



Local Authority - usually the county or unitary authority responsible for education and other public services.


A set of agreed and shared rules for conveying meaning that is communicated through sounds, symbols and gestures. When speech sounds are used we are using verbal language for speaking and listening. When the symbols used are written alphabets and words, we are using written language, as in writing and reading. The rules for the use of the symbols or words in a language form the grammar. See full article on language.


The dominance of one side of the brain over the other resulting in being right handed or left handed. Most people will choose to do a task with their dominant eye, hand or foot.