Who is it for?
These pupils typically have profound and multiple learning difficulties and/or sensory impairments, emotional dysregulation or profound learning difficulties with autism. They benefit from a sensory curriculum and/or a curriculum focused on ensuring well-being and emotional safety which is built around their personal educational needs, but with a further focus on:
- Safety - physical, medical and emotional
- Following of adult direction
- Sensory systems
- Effective communication systems
- Increasing autonomy
- Relationships with others
- Postural management
- Development of independent self-help skills
The majority of pupils need to learn individually and are non-subject-specific learners. Ensuring breadth of experience and building on previous experience is critical for development of memory, anticipation and learning to learn skills for these learners. This Curriculum Strand includes our Nurture Group pupils who may not always be in a place of physical or emotional safety for a variety of reasons, both internal and external, and so require an Enrichment Curriculum first, moving within strands to access other relevant elements of learning and development.
For pupils with Profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD) rather than emotional needs, their difficulties are a description of a set of characteristics rather than a diagnosis. We are guided by the PMLD network who in their work towards creating a definition identified these common characteristics:
- Have more than one disability
- Have a profound learning disability
- Have great difficulty communicating
- Need high levels of support
- May have additional sensory or physical disabilities,
- Complex health needs or mental health difficulties
- May have behaviours that challenge us
People with these characteristics are described as having profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) or profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD). The compounded impact of a profound intellectual disability combined with other disabilities is multi-faceted and pervasive, meaning these individuals will require support with most or all aspects of their life. However, we believe that all have the capacity to participate in everyday life in a way which is personalised to their needs and abilities, to benefit from good health care and education and are able in various ways to communicate their satisfaction or otherwise with their quality of life.
How is it organised?
The Curriculum is organised into five main learning areas:
- My Interactions
This area is focused upon a pupil's need to communicate with others and for others to understand and interpret a pupil's communication.
- My Explorations
This area offers opportunities for developmental learning rooted in concrete experiences. Practice is built upon the philosophy that pupils will engage with learning when motivated to explore. Exploration encompasses the environment around a pupil; starting with response to stimuli; moving to intentional enquiry and on to functional skills.
- My Movement
This area encourages the development and preservation of fine and gross motor skills through following a set of progressive goals and therapies. Sequencing of movement and intention to move and be physical will be developed through engagement strategies.
- My Senses
This area identifies and provides interventions to break down barriers to learning. These barriers may include: sensory impairment; sensory processing and complex health needs.
- My Emotions
This important area is important for all pupils accessing the Enrichment Curriculum and focuses on emotional wellbeing for pupils with PMLD and emotional regulation and wellbeing for pupils with social and emotional difficulties.
How will the curriculum be taught?
- Practice is built upon the philosophy that interactions must be meaningful and relevant, built upon mutual trust and understanding.
- Intensive interaction is embedded throughout the curriculum as a vehicle to enable interactions to take place and grow.
- Formalised interaction systems such as tactile cues, sensory routines, objects of reference can be used to develop anticipation, reduce stress and anxiety and allow pupils to develop and express autonomy.
- Sensory stimulation will be used to develop the pupils learning to learn skills and understanding of the physical world.
- Pupils on this pathway will follow a personalised programme developed by an integrated therapy team and delivered through targeted therapy interventions.
- Therapeutic Thinking is fundamental to the approach to support our pupils to work through rather than avoid challenges, developing the skills to build resilience within a supportive and effective co-regulatory relationship.