Pre-Formal Pathway - PMLD

Name of curriculum:

Pre Formal Pathway – for those with Profound and multiple learning difficulties

Who is it for?

Profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD) is 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:

  • Has more than one disability
  • Has a profound learning disability
  • Has great difficulty communicating
  • Needs 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. All, however, 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 four main learning areas:

  • My Interactions

This area focuses 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 routed 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.

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 personalised programme developed by an integrated therapy team and delivered through targeted therapy interventions.