Sensory Curriculum

Our sensory pupils are supported to unleash their potential, through exploring and engaging with the world around them.

We support our learners to enjoy a range of fun-filled learning activities, including Sensory Stories, Visual and Musical Creative arts, Community Learning, Physical Therapies, Computing and Knowledge of the World, we also promote emotional well-being through shared daily circle times and Jigsaw lessons. While we recognise that shared learning with our peers is an important part of communication and emotional development, we also respect and promote the right to quiet learning times through a variety of bespoke 1-1 interventions for all pupils.

Sensory learners are often described as having profound and multiple learning difficulties, which may include, physical, sensory, cognitive impairments alongside significant medical conditions, and frequently require high levels of support. At Frederick Holmes School our sensory pupils’ individual needs and diversities are celebrated, bespoke learning pathways are implemented to ensure appropriate access to learning opportunities that seek to enable; comfortable, safe, happy and proactive learners.

The classes all follow the ImPACTS Curriculum; ‘this is an assessment, monitoring and target setting’ framework that enables the collaborative approach from Teachers, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language therapists, Music Therapists, Sensory Integration Practitioners and IPASS to develop and implement holistic, person-centred learning plans that ensure the best possible outcomes for all. The College Sensory class also work toward ASDAN accredited Personal Progress Qualifications during their time at Frederick Holmes.

ImPACTS Curriculum

The ImPACTS curriculum is comprised of several areas of learning, which echo areas of development and progression documented within Education Health Care Plans. Within each area: Communication, Cognition, Environmental Control Technology and Self-Advocacy the Impact Assessment System gives a clear focus for learning and teaching of specific skills through a detailed breakdown of the skills pupils need to move from pre-intentional to formal learners.

Communication

Establishing conventional communication can be a lifelong task for sensory learners. The Impact Assessment System gives a clear focus for learning and teaching of communication development and clearly outlines the skills pupils need to develop from pre-intentional communication to formal communication using; their senses, expressions, gestures, vocalisations, or more formal methods using signs, symbols or words.

The use of Body/Verbal Cues and Objects of Reference are an essential Communication tool used consistently with all sensory pupils within Frederick Holmes school to developing understanding, recognition and anticipation of daily school routines, transitions and when activities are about to begin and end.

Cognition

As with Communication development The Impact Assessment System gives a clear focus for learning and teaching of Cognition through a detailed breakdown of the skills pupils need to move from pre-intentional to formal cognitive understanding using; their senses, expressions, gestures, vocalisations, signs, symbols or words.

Sensory pupils require the support of skilled staff to facilitate exploration of the people, objects, places and experiences they encounter each day. This helps pupils to develop awareness and understanding of how to interpret and interact with the world around them.

Environmental Control Technology (ECT)

This section of the ImPACTS Curriculum also supports pupils Cognitive understanding of cause and effect, while also maximising individual independence skills. As with both Communication and Cognition there are multiple learning strands that carefully breakdown the key skills pupils will need to develop to progress from Pre-Intentional to Formal learners.

The learning strands consider physical access, motivational effects, developing independence, switching and communication, so that appropriate targets can be selected to develop specific areas appropriate to the individual needs and abilities of all pupils. It also encompasses fun-filled enriching experiences with cutting edge technology including access to Eye-gaze, Immersive 4D learning environment, Food Technology room, Computing and an assortment of switch activated technology that assists with developing independent participation.

Physical, Social and Emotional Well-Being. Self-Advocacy

This element of the ImPACTS curriculum was introduced to our Sensory learners during the Autumn term 2020 as part of the Recovery Curriculum in response to the COVID 19 emergency to holistically support all pupils to gently settle back into the daily routines of school life.

Sensory Stimulation is important in enabling sensory pupils to use all their senses for learning and interacting with the world around them. Alongside nurturing the core senses of touch, taste, sight, sound and smell, the interoceptive, proprioceptive and vestibular sense awareness are also nurtured and developed.

The increased awareness of the proprioceptive and vestibular senses enables pupils to have a better understanding of their own bodies, how to move them and use them to connect and have an effect on their immediate environment or communication partner, as well as maintaining physical well-being and comfort. This is achieved through a range of therapeutic activities and interventions such as Body Awareness, Tac Pac, Sensory and Dance Massage, access to Rebound Therapy, Hydrotherapy, adapted cycles and personalised Physical Management programmes which are overseen by a lead Physiotherapist and Occupational Therapist and completed each day by the class teams.

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