Who is on the Blue Pathway?
Students working within this pathway commonly present with PMLD (Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties) and the following areas of need:
Communication and interaction
Physical and/or Emotional well being
Cognition and learning
Blue Pathway learners develop a range of skills - all linked to increasing their independence and sparking engagement in the world around them. We know this through Evidence for Learning; annual review meetings; regular discussions with parents; and day-to-day interactions with the learners themselves. Everything we do in the Blue Pathway contributes to preparing learners for a world beyond the classroom doors.
How it Works
Each student has individualised lesson outcomes for every lesson, based on their long term EHCP outcomes. The staff to student ratio is usually very high, resulting in students’ learning being constantly and consistently tracked while also providing a high level of personal care. Both teachers and teaching assistants have an in-depth knowledge of students’ needs and intended learning outcomes and know how to encourage and support these learners in the best ways.
Our lessons take a sensory format, where we try to inspire as many of the senses as possible. This may be by using particular music to help students have an experience, it may be to use scents and tastes to aid exploration or it may be to offer particular textures. For many of our learners, whole body awareness is a key priority, along with developing tools to aid communication such as making a choice or communicating a need.
We repeat lessons over at least one half-term to help our students anticipate what is happening and begin to initiate new ways to explore or play or move. By working collaboratively with our school therapy department, we ensure the physiotherapy needs of our students are met. Similarly, our liaison with other educational professionals and outside agencies help us to constantly review our working strategies and develop best practice.
We monitor the learning of our students lesson by lesson; this takes the form of observational notes and photographic evidence. Due to the nature of the complex learning needs these students have, linear level assessment does not always best show the steps of progress made. We therefore track student progress and assess against their EHCP outcomes as an ongoing process. We feel it is important to celebrate the steps of progress our students make and strive to communicate this regularly with our parents/carers. We highly value home school communication and welcome parents/carers contributing to the learning outcomes of our students.
Therapies and interventions
Learners in the Blue Pathway have access to a wide variety of therapies and interventions. Some of these are:
An aquatic therapy designed specifically to support a pupil’s physiotherapy needs. We have a heated hydrotherapy pool onsite. Hydrotherapy has proven to improve quality of life for pupils with respiratory conditions.
Whole body awareness
This is a technique which helps students understand their own bodies and themselves in relation to others and wider contexts. Whole body awareness helps to develop self-awareness and promotes well-being.
This a sensory communication resource using touch and music to help develop communication and social skills.
One to one interaction between learner and an attentive adult whereby the adult copies the sounds and movements of the learner. This encourages communication and shared attention.
Music therapy utilises different musical styles, methods and instruments and allows learners to express themselves and engage with the outside world in a unique musical language. Learners access music therapy on a 1:1 basis or in small groups.
An exercise therapy, which uses trampolines to provide opportunities for movement, therapeutic exercise and recreation in addition to helping develop communication and social skills.
This is an intervention model designed by Gina Davies, Specialist Speech and Language Therapist. It aims to develop natural and spontaneous communication with visually based and highly motivating activities. It also provides opportunities for helping learners to understand transitions.
AAC – Augmentative and Alternative Communication.
This encompasses Makaton, PECS, Communication books, visual supports, the use of switches, timetables, and social stories. We aim to have total communication classrooms.
Moving on from the Blue Pathway
Many of our Blue Pathway learners will have the opportunity to remain at Highfield after reaching adulthood and join our LINC 19-25 provision. Others might access further education at another setting or access residential or day centre social care provisions.
Blue Pathway Themes
Please don't hesitate to contact Danny Mills on 01353 662085 if you would like any more details about the Blue pathway.