Topic outline

  • Sensory / PMLD curriculum

    Sensory / PMLD curriculum

    Our PMLD curriculum at Ysgol Pen Coch recognises that children with Profound and multiple Learning Difficulties have unique abilities and ways of learning Our curriculum is therefore based on understanding individual learner needs. Comfort, security, stimulation and motivation are key to a positive learning experience and developing the learners voice and sense of control is at the centre of what we aim to do.


    Our pre-formal curriculum must meet the needs of the children and will therefore provide ideas and opportunities for exploration and creativity through play and learning experiences. It is the learners that decide the direction learning will take; teachers and TA’s will help build routines, facilitate change, offer alternatives, observe and guide.



    The SCERTS® Model

    (Social Communication, Emotional Regulation, Transactional Supports)

    At Ysgol Pen Coch we recognize that our pupils with Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) need a wider reaching curriculum that enables them to work on the skills connected to a clearer understanding of non-verbal and verbal communication, social understanding and social behaviour, understanding and controlling their own emotions and thinking and behaving flexibly. Our aim is to use The SCERTS® Model to help provide the best possible provision for pupils with ASC. The SCERTS® Model is to be used as a framework which enables a range of interventions to be used in a holistic approach to autism (e.g. TEACCH, PECS, Intensive Interaction, Sensory Diets etc). The SCERTS® Model will be used in a foundation and key stage two class and targets will form their pupils IEPs in this class. The SCERTS® Model will be used in cooperation with Parents, S.A.L.T, and Occupational Therapist and outside agencies if and when required. Provision for these pupils during the SCERTS® Model will be continuously monitored as part of the schools Autism Accreditation self-evaluation process.


    Autism Provision

    At Ysgol Pen Coch we provide specialised support to all our pupils, through a personalised and differentiated curriculum that promotes independence at its very core. We support a growing population of pupils with Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC) within our classrooms. We currently support over 50% of our pupils who have a diagnosis of Autism with a number undergoing assessments.

    ● Personalised learning is at the core of our approach. We seek to understand how a diagnosis and needs across the spectrum of learning disabilities affects a child in all aspects of their learning. We recognise our pupils for their strengths, and work with them to grow their ambitions, to achieve their aspirations and to develop positive attitudes towards them.


    ● We specialise in Therapeutic Intervention based on the belief that to realise the full potential of each child, we must support all of their educational, physical, emotional and behavioural needs in a personalised and holistic way.

    ● We apply and adapt the Curriculum for Wales guidance in a meaningful way for all pupils and track their attainment and progress using one of three tools: Autism Progress and Connecting Steps and Routes for Learning. Two of our classes are also using the SCERTS Framework curriculum and assessment programme.


    Key Methods and Approaches

    Communication: Our provision uses a total communication approach across classes, including using Widget 3 made visuals, photos, Objects of Reference, PECS, Social Stories/Scripts, Intensive Interaction, Attention Autism and low/high tech AAC supports, including super core boards and eye gaze. We are also supported by our SALT team of professionals.

    Self-reliance: Our provision uses visual timetables that can be part/whole day, now and then boards, choice boards, familiar routines and visual scripts/cues. Our classrooms include the TEACCH methods, as well as two classes using SCERTS methods.

    Sensory experiences: Our provision uses sensory profiles, circuits, diets and play. Individuals have access to building club (lego), light and dark rooms, soft play, rebound therapy, story massage and tac pac. Our classroom guidance follows the SPELL framework which includes low arousal. We have recently introduced sensory profiles.

    Well-being: Our provision uses the Incredible Years classroom management programme, which includes the use of motivators and rewards such as sticker charts and class dojo as well as Zones of Regulation. We are supported by the use of proactive and preventative behaviour support plans. Some pupils may also access our hydrotherapy pool. We have two Elsa trained staff within each Department.


    Autism Accreditation - To validate and certify the specialised provision we offer our pupils with an ASC diagnosis, we decided to undertake the National Autistic Society’s (NAS) Accreditation process. The Autism Accreditation is the National Autistic Society’s programme for assessing the quality of support directly offered to autistic adults or children. They award Aspiring, Accredited or Advanced status against their autistic specific framework of best practice. Achieving accreditation proves that an organisation is committed to understanding autism and setting the standard for autism practice.

    In August 2021 Pen Coch was awarded NAS Aspiring Status.