Richmond Sensory Curriculum
We teach the following skills: Communication, Cognition, Physical Skills and Independence through the following core subjects:
Communication and social skills
This supports the development of communication from the unintentional cues given by our students to the use of deliberate functional communication skills. Staff work with Speech and Language Therapists to ensure that individual needs are met within this area. Methods of delivery include teaching the use of Alternative Augmentative Communication devices such as the Eye Gaze, Photos or Objects of Reference, Intensive Interaction and supporting the development of interest in the people around them. The development of Communication is fundamental across all areas of the PMLD Curriculum.
Where a student has a need identified within their EHCP, staff are trained to deliver Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Programmes.
Students are supported to develop their interest in and participation in sensory activities that take place around them. Sensory Development enables staff to work with students to support the development of their sight and hearing in line with advice given from a specialist teacher when this need has been highlighted within an individual’s EHCP.
Through the use of innovative ICT equipment, we strive to ensure that all students are given the opportunity to have an impact upon their environment. This is created through the use of Big Mac switches, switches attached to toys and computer programmes, use of the Eye Gaze, scheduled times within the Multisensory room and through cause and effect lighting equipment within the warm water pool.
Staff are regularly trained to be able to deliver and assess progress within intensive interaction sessions. These sessions allow students to take control of interaction by staff facilitating and copying their sounds, movements or actions. This activity supports the development of early communication and, in turn, taking skills.
Students also have access to Sensory Music and Sensory Art from specialist teachers. Students within the department also have the opportunity to access Community Visits throughout the term. Students are taught in whole groups and small group sessions throughout the week. Whole group sessions are delivered by the teacher, small group sessions are planned by the teacher and delivered by the support staff as directed.
The PMLD Long and Medium Term Plans are written separately and have been designed to provide a topic as a basis to plan for individual learning needs, rather than a linear programme of study. Topics are delivered using a five-year rolling programme. This prevents repetition of a topic as students are taught within ability groups rather than in key stages. Students’ ability and progress is measured using the Oaklands Sensory Assessment Tool.