“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

Leo Buscaglia

We pride ourselves with the quality of teaching and learning and the curriculum structure that informs our planning. It is of great importance to make sure all pupils receive a broad, differentiated and balanced curriculum. Our Curriculum is an adaptation of the National Curriculum. The curriculum framework that we use is called Equals curriculum. Equals curriculum offers a carefully structured teaching programme, a suitably presented and differentiated curriculum to match the needs of the pupils with complex learning difficulties.

At the heart of this curriculum, it is important that we recognise the process of enabling pupils to interact with other pupils in order to communicate or play an active part in completing a task while learning new skills. Adults (Teaching Assistance) bridge a gap by establishing contexts in which each pupil is able to signal their responses and then in turn responding sensitively and consistently to whatever behaviours each pupil displays. This positive cycle is not always easy to establish, but without it, the pupil cannot learn that social engagement is valuable in itself and as a means to end. This key goal is addressed through three curriculum strands:

  1. Pupils are supported to develop a sense of self and others through responding to people, sharing activities, responding to learning with structured activities, making choices and participating as a member of a group.
  1. Pupils are given opportunities to enjoy leisure activities or occupy themselves and communicate their responses to other people. Although some pupils at this stage may not be able to choose activities, they have the right to access a wide range of play and leisure activities to which they are capable of responding. They should also be supported to experience healthy choices (physical activity, outdoor activities and healthy food and drink) although they will not be able to select healthy options themselves.
  1. Pupils are supported to accept, understand and participate in structured functional skills activities that take place in school and off-site.

We are a PMLD resource provision within an inclusive mainstream school. Our unit provides a differentiated curriculum for pupils that are operating below the National Curriculum to National Curriculum level 2c. Pupils within the provision according to B Squared assessment operate from level p1 (i) to level 2NC. The provision has pupils with Profound and Multiple Learning difficulties, Sensory Impairment and Learning Difficulties (SILD), Communication and Interaction Difficulties from Moderate to Severe Learning Difficulties (M/SLD).

Currently, we have 25 pupils in the unit with Profound and Multiple learning Difficulties.

The range of needs the unit caters for is very wide and skewed .The needs ranges from the Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Gullion Barre Syndrome, Angelman’s Syndrome, Wooster-Drought Syndrome, Cri du Chat Syndrome, Lebers Amaurosis, respiratory disorder (oxygen dependant) to tube fed pupils.

There are learning opportunities that take place off- site as part of the social inclusion within the local community and beyond, where pupils go to the London Regatta Centre (Youth Rowing Club) for adaptive rowing, once a year we take part in the National Youth Adaptive Rowing competition. In collaboration with the PE department resource provision use the local leisure centre swimming pool as part of their PE lesson. This has been a huge success, this activity includes all pupils with special needs even the profoundly physically challenged pupils have a chance to take part in the PE lesson.

Pupils also have learning opportunities outside the classroom where every pupil is timetabled to go into the life skills flat to learn about independent living skills as part pf the hidden curriculum and lifelong learning. Pupils are also timetabled to go into the sensory room where teachers and TA lead a structured session so pupils get the best use out of these two areas.

The Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties department, under the guidance of the Equals Curriculum, and the Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network, ASDAN, aims to provide a multisensory learning environment which stimulates each individual student through a structured teaching and assessment programme. Under the direction of a team of highly trained staff, some of whom are specialists in their field, lessons are planned and tailored to ensure that the right strategies are put in place to facilitate a successful outcome for all pupils. With the resources at its disposal, the PMLD unit strives to impart knowledge, as well as life-affirming and adaptable skills to all its students.

Zamanganga Shozi

Head of PMLD Provision