Routes For Learning

Our new curriculum initiative is the introduction of the Routes For Learning assessment.  This well respected assessment is especially designed for learners with Complex, Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties.

The assessment focuses on the key areas of communication and cognitive development.

Routes For Learning focuses on how children develop their understanding of key concepts.  It addresses the individual needs of learners where sensory impairments, motor disabilities and medical problems complicate the learning process.

It takes account of individual preferences for:

  • learning channels and ways of processing information (e.g. visual, auditory, tactile)
  • ways of communicating
  • ways of integrating new experiences with prior learning
  • ability to remember and anticipate routines
  • approaches to problem-solving situations
  • ability to form attachments and interact socially

Each child follows their own route towards seven key developmental milestones.  These include noticing and responding to stimuli, an understanding of cause and effect, object permanence, making choices and taking action to make things happen.

The assessment gives the class teachers the information they need to create “Individual Learning Plans” for communication and cognitive development.  Then they can plan activities at the right level to engage and challenge each child. 

Learning how to choose (knowing that two objects are present)  

Learning how to choose (knowing that two objects are present): This photograph shows Asad really working hard.  He likes to run his fingers over the iPad to play some musical sounds and he also likes to reach out to explore the hanging toys.  He is making a choice here by reaching out to each one in turn and then finally turning towards the hanging toys.
This photograph shows Asad really working hard. He likes to run his fingers over the iPad to play some musical sounds and he also likes to reach out to explore the hanging toys. He is making a choice here by reaching out to each one in turn and then finally turning towards the hanging toys.

Developing Cause and Effect skills  

Developing Cause and Effect skills: David has worked very hard and successfully with switches.  They allow him to access lots of learning experiences through ICT.  He began by using a big arm movement on the touch screen and then moved on to using a single switch.  In this photograph, he is using a single head switch which has to be tapped at the correct moment to start the counting song.
David has worked very hard and successfully with switches. They allow him to access lots of learning experiences through ICT. He began by using a big arm movement on the touch screen and then moved on to using a single switch. In this photograph, he is using a single head switch which has to be tapped at the correct moment to start the counting song.

Object permanence  

Object permanence: This means understanding that things and people still exist even when they are out of sight.  The big ball game was one of the first activities we played with Keian.  He pushes it away and then waits for its return.  Sometimes the adult returns it immediately; sometimes they wait and let it roll across the floor.  This encourages Keian to look around for it. The unpredictability of the adult’s responses encourages Keian to stay alert and interested.
This means understanding that things and people still exist even when they are out of sight. The big ball game was one of the first activities we played with Keian. He pushes it away and then waits for its return. Sometimes the adult returns it immediately; sometimes they wait and let it roll across the floor. This encourages Keian to look around for it. The unpredictability of the adult’s responses encourages Keian to stay alert and interested.

Cause and Effect  

Cause and Effect: A photograph showing Mason exploring and understanding cause and effect.  He loves the stream of bubbles which appear from the fish and knows that he can make more appear by pressing the big blue button.  He also enjoys a similar activity in the dark room where he knows how to change the colours of the lights by pressing big buttons
A photograph showing Mason exploring and understanding cause and effect. He loves the stream of bubbles which appear from the fish and knows that he can make more appear by pressing the big blue button. He also enjoys a similar activity in the dark room where he knows how to change the colours of the lights by pressing big buttons

Perseveres by repeating action for reward  

Perseveres by repeating action for reward: Asad enjoys regular individual communication sessions using Intensive Interaction techniques.  In this session, Asad led a long vocal turn taking episode.  Then Ann said “Weetabix” and Asad continued to repeat the word because it made Ann laugh.  As you can see, the sessions are great fun for everyone.
Asad enjoys regular individual communication sessions using Intensive Interaction techniques. In this session, Asad led a long vocal turn taking episode. Then Ann said “Weetabix” and Asad continued to repeat the word because it made Ann laugh. As you can see, the sessions are great fun for everyone.

Objects to termination of interaction  

Objects to termination of interaction: Another photograph of Intensive Interaction showing Keian really having fun.<br>It is lovely to see him holding his head up so well.  He shows us that he does not want these sessions to finish, by reaching out to staff when they start to move away.
Another photograph of Intensive Interaction showing Keian really having fun.
It is lovely to see him holding his head up so well. He shows us that he does not want these sessions to finish, by reaching out to staff when they start to move away.

Initiates social game  

Initiates social game: This is a screen shot from a video of an Intensive Interaction session where Mason really shows how much of an active role he takes during communication sessions.  He initiates communication by vocalising and pulling at Mary and then when she starts to play a game, he does everything he can to keep the game going.  In this shot, he has waited in anticipation for a tickle and then collapsed in laughter when Mary finally gives in and tickles him.
This is a screen shot from a video of an Intensive Interaction session where Mason really shows how much of an active role he takes during communication sessions. He initiates communication by vocalising and pulling at Mary and then when she starts to play a game, he does everything he can to keep the game going. In this shot, he has waited in anticipation for a tickle and then collapsed in laughter when Mary finally gives in and tickles him.
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