Students that follow the Inspire / PMLD Pathway engage in a sensory curriculum to provide opportunities for effective communication as well as physical development and self help and independence. The needs of each learner become the driving force behind a highly individualised bespoke curriculum designed to challenge each of our complex learners.


Through the PMLD Pathway, we aim to ensure that our children: 

‘are encouraged to be active participants in their own lives and to make progress towards their own individual goals through individual opportunities both in and out of school.  To be visible contributors to society in a meaningful way.’ 


The breadth of the PMLD curriculum is structured through the following areas: 

  • Communication and social interaction 
  • Cognition and Learning 
  • Physical and Wellbeing 
  • Life skills and Independence 
  • Preparation for Adulthood and Community 

Communication and Interaction

To have opportunities to:  

  • To develop the fundamentals to communication 
  • To have an effective and consistent means of communication to express preferences and choices and to control their environment which is understood by those who work with them. 
  • To have opportunities to communicate in a rich range of communication experiences with a range of communication partners 
  • To have a ‘voice’ 
  • To listen to environmental sounds and language 
  • To have an opportunity to develop positive and meaningful relationships through social engagement 
  • Have an opportunity to develop relationships 
  • To try new experiences and engage in drama 
  • Access to assistive technology to support communication 
  • Be involved in decision making around social activity 


  • To develop the prerequisites to reading. 
  • To experience and enjoy language through reading. 
  • To offer opportunities for enjoyment through inclusive reading. 
  • To develop social interactions through meaningful experiences of reading.  
  • To encompass a “Total Communication” approach to reading. 

Cognition and Learning

To have opportunities to: 

  • Explore stimuli in a variety of ways 
  • Use intuition. 
  • Notice a difference 
  • Make predictions and anticipate. 
  • Understand of cause and effect 
  • Develop memory to link different pieces of information. 
  • Develop linking objects, events and experiences. 
  • Experience opportunities to think creatively and problem solve 
  • Develop attention skills 

Preparation for adulthood and community

To have opportunities to: 

  • Be an active participant in my school and wider community to achieve citizenship in a meaningful way 
  • To be provided with opportunities to develop new experiences, skills and interests and maintain/ generalise current behaviours. 
  • To develop and maintain positive relationships in the wider community 
  • Be involved in decision making around social activity 
  • Each learner will have opportunities to engage in spiritual practices appropriate to their needs and interests (spirituality is not exclusively about religion). 
  • To be visible and have a voice 

Physical wellbeing

To have opportunities to: 

  • To support and promote physical and mental wellbeing to enjoy a full and long life.  
  • Maintain postural care management 
  • Develop/ maintain gross motor control 
  • Develop/ maintain fine motor control 
  • Develop mobility and/or transitions 
  • Access meaningful physical activity and sport 
  • Develop mental, emotional, physiological and spiritual well being. 
  • To have a sense of belonging 
  • To be respected as an individual 
  • Be an active participant in their life

Life skills and independence

To have opportunities to: 

  • To be an active participant in their daily life skills which will enhance independent living 
  • To actively participate in self-help routines as much as possible 
  • To actively participate in intimate care routines 
  • To be an active participant in some food preparation and routines related to eating and drinking 


We achieve our intentions by:  

Communication and Interaction

•Developing communication skills through play

•Information on functional communication will be documented through profiling which will be widely accessible, current and detailed.

•Using assessment techniques and tools to create a comprehensive understanding of an individual’s communication 

•Provide a range of assistive technology products to ensure effective modes of communication are achieved

•Ensuring ‘Total communication approaches’ are used across the department 

•Communication will be an integral part of all sessions 

•To involve learners in a wide range of social opportunities in class, with wider school community and local  community. 

•To explore creative means of communication such as story sharing, non verbal drama, Sherbourne.

•Providing our staff and learners time to connect and communicate through programmes such as ‘the hanging out programme’ and Intensive interaction.

•Develop the use Intensive Interaction throughout the curriculum.

•Developing the love of reading through story sharing, sensory stories and story massage.

•Developing communication skills through play


•To explore cognition skills through play

•Creating opportunities to remember

•Creating opportunities to links events to actions using technology and resources (activity arches, ‘little environments 

•Creating opportunities for the child to notice a difference (e.g., making a change in a familiar space);

•Creating supported problem-solving solutions, (e.g., initially a choice from two offered solutions);

•Creating a comprehensive access profile which includes software and motivators

•Sabotaging actions or access of known behaviours with motivating activities  – REWORD

•Utilising pedagogy to develop memory through repetition

•Utilising pedagogy to develop attention such as ‘attention autism’ 


•Providing play opportunities for all leaners

•Through daily functional physical programmes

•Through a varied physical curriculum including swimming, sherbounre movement, MATP

•Through functional physical profiling around the learner to create a cohesive understanding which could be digital and paper documentation. 

•Through postural care and repositioning throughout the day to ensure that the learner’s functional posture is being maintained.

•Developing opportunities to explore fine motor skills and explore tactile development.

•Providing opportunities to use a range of assistive technology products to meet mobility needs.

•By providing opportunities to practice physical skills throughout the day

•To have an opportunity to be involved in meaningful sport and participate in celebrations and or sport-specific activities appropriate for their ability levels.

•Providing play opportunities for all leaners

•by consistently participating in group activities in class, wider school and wider community

•by participating in hanging out programme where there is no agenda 

•By contributing through participation and involvement in whole school events, being recognised for their abilities

•Access to familiar staff who are skilled to meet the individual needs of their learners. 

•Mechanisms in place to activity share information around learners

•being provided with opportunities to develop relationships with peers and wider staff around the school community

•A personalised approach to engagement in activities

•ensuring health assessments are comprehensive and current which feed into health profiling.

•staff being aware of sensory needs and or their sensory processing needs abilities and preferences.


•provide opportunities for people and their families to form wider social relationships through social groups, activities and events.

•Participate in whole school events to ensure social inclusion is achieved.

•supporting learners to participate and be included in their communities and to achieve citizenship in a meaningful manner.

•A personalised approach to engagement in social and leisure activities

•Staff ensuring of site visits are accessible, staff being aware of facilities.

•By ensuring learners are respected and provided dignified support to do as much as they can for themselves

•Share engagement through evidence for learning app with parents to share in achievements both at home, in community and in school environments.

•To follow best practice guidance relating specifically to people with PMLD and associated health care needs. 

•Providing curriculum time to focus on routines and life skills to enable the learners to engage, participate and control their lives

•Work collaboratively across the school, participating in social and curriculum focused activities across the school in a meaningful way.

•Provide opportunities for parental engagement to create a strong link between home and school.  


Education opportunities:

•Explore play on an individual basis

•Develop links with external groups ( school, colleges, services and establishments)

•Develop relationships within same/cross phase and external groups

•Being visible and active in our local school and wider community

•Develop travel training


•To actively participate in class routines

•To actively contribute to the wider school community

•To be visible and actively contribute to wider community Leisure

•Recognise the need for everyone to participate and be actively engaged in activities personally enjoyed and with people they like to spend time with. 

•To be an active participant in the activities they engage in through known preferences feeding into the choice and developments of activities. 

•Development of play passports to enable learners preferences to be widely acknowledged

Friends , relationships and community

  • Provide opportunities to develop meaningful friendships with peers and attentive adults Independence 
  • Promote independence and reduce learnt helplessness in all learners
  • Ensure all are active participants in their life at a pace which is best for them.
  • Good health 
  • physical and mental health are both integral to wellbeing and adulthood.  
  • Learners health will be maintain and optimised through positioning, medication, safe nutritional input. 

Impact: outcomes 

The impact of the PMLD Pathway provision is demonstrated through the development of pupils who will: 

  • Contribute 
  • Have control over their lives to be active participants in their lives 
  • Live happy, fulfilled and meaningful lives  
  • Be recognised, visible and valued in school and wider community 
  • Access a network of professionals and services 
  • Be supported through transitions 

“The curriculum is a framework for setting out the aims of a programme of education, including the knowledge and skills to be gained at each stage (intent); for translating that framework over time into a structure and narrative, within an institutional context (implementation) and for evaluating what knowledge and skills pupils have gained against expectations (impact/achievement).”