‘Children and Young people with a PMLD learn very differently from neuro-typical conventionally developing learners (Imray and Hinchcliff, 2014). If they learn very differently, we ought to be teaching them differently and teaching them very different things. Therefore, our SEND curriculum is designed to be:

  • Varied (non-linear)
  • Personalised
  • Holistic
  • Concrete and contextualised
  • Process-based
  • Achievable

The SEND curriculum at the Leicester Royal Infirmary focuses on developing students’ skills and abilities (PMLD specific – rather than knowledge) in four core Areas of Learning:

  • My Communication
  • My Movement
  • My Thinking
  • Myself

The curriculum is then further supported by enrichment areas of learning which include: My Creativity and How My World Works.

Students have ‘Next Steps’ in each of the core areas, with additional opportunities to develop these skills in other scenarios through Enrichment. Within these core areas teachers plan fun, engaging and relevant learning activities. Although students will be working towards their next steps throughout the week, this will be through learning activities and a holistic way of teaching, at the right pace for the learner. These activities are motivating and inspiring for students and something they want to do.


To aid our understanding we have included the overview below. It is not our intent to differentiate the EYFS framework or National Curriculum to meet the needs of our PMLD learners. This overview provides some guidance for staff to support the notion of broad and balanced curriculum.


Each learner has a personalised curriculum. It is built especially for them and based on their skills and desired outcomes (next steps). It is broad in that it covers all aspects of their development and it is balanced in that is weighs up, especially for them, the input that is needed. We understand the importance that this is integrated with medical and therapeutic input. We also aspire to take into account parents’ aspirations and ideas.

We ensure the curriculum is broad and balanced through interesting and diverse topics, special enrichment days linked to calendar events, creative and flexible timetabling and teaching ‘subjects’ when this is appropriate. We also integrate into our planning and timetabling:

Medical and therapy requirements Partnerships with other schools
SMSC School & College links
Sex and relationships education Family links
Fun and enjoyment Celebrations

Children’s Hospital School University Hospitals of Leicester – NHS Trust Leicester Royal Infirmary – Leicester LE1 5WW
Tel: 0116 258 5330 Fax: 0116 229 8142