Animus Family Group
Students with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD) have access to a wide range of activities during a typical week at college that include cooking, art, communication, music and story sessions. The use of a county minibus facilitates community based learning. In addition, weekly trampoline and swimming sessions are a great opportunity to carry out students’ individual physical programmes. The PMLD department works closely with a range of professionals including a physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech and language therapist, dietician and college doctor. Due to the very nature of our students’ complex needs the PMLD department uses time effectively to meet the ongoing physical, health and personal care needs for each individual student in such a way that creates opportunities for learning and independence.
Students with PMLD benefit from regular routines and sessions that provide opportunities to anticipate and consolidate their learning. Their learning takes place across their whole day during curriculum based sessions, personal care, tuck and lunch times. Students’ experiences are varied and often linked to different topics or themes depending on what the focus is that term. The main areas of learning for students with PMLD are cognitive, communication, physical and daily living skills. As a department we strive for opportunities that allow communication and independence to take place throughout the college day.
Successes for students with PMLD will be very varied and may not be very conventional. Many of our students have to work really hard in order to maintain their current levels of skill. In light of this, success and progress could simply be when a student is able to maintain a skill. Or it might be when a student can generalise a skill either with a different person and/or in a different environment. Of course it could also be learning a brand new skill. No two successes are alike and every success is valued and celebrated in its own right.
Close links with our parents and carers are essential to support the ongoing development of our students. Good communication links through the home school books are essential to keep us up to date with significant events or changes, as well as the day to day routines and appointments. Staff love hearing about what the students have been doing over the weekend, so that we can engage with the students about their experiences. On a practical level we appreciate offers of help to support our various sessions throughout the week.