Routes for Learning materials help practitioners assess the early communication and cognitive skills of learners with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD).
As part of the wider reform of curriculum and assessment arrangements, and to reflect the latest research in the field, the materials are now being updated. On 28th January, revised materials will be made available for feedback. In February, practitioners are invited to join events to discuss the developments and offer feedback in person.
The materials currently in use were published in their original form in 2006 and are well regarded across the UK and internationally. They have been translated into various European languages and used as far afield as Nigeria. The suite of materials includes:
- A Routemap which provides an overview of early cognitive development, communication and social interaction, showing the most important milestones.
- Videos showing learners with PMLD whose responses exemplify Routemap milestones.
- Guidance which enables practitioners working with learners with PMLD to assess them and identify how to support them in developing their learning.
- An assessment booklet which provides support on how to use the Routemap, through examples of assessment activities, teaching strategies and an indication of what to look for when assessing.
Practitioners and experts are working together to update these, and an all-Wales network of schools has played a key role in gathering and quality-assuring videos to exemplify the descriptors on the Routemap. Since June 2019, a Routes for Learning Advisory Group has been updating the guidance to help practitioners identify how to assess and develop the learning of those with PMLD.
On 28 January, these updated items will be available for feedback:
- The Routemap with recommendations about changes to terminology, to clarify the meaning of some of the route descriptors
- Additional videos exemplifying 10 of the route descriptors included on the map
- Draft Routes for Learning guidance
We will also be publishing a summary of the feedback received in response to the amended Routes for Learning Routemap and 10 exemplification videos published in April 2019. Indeed, the revisions being suggested and the questions to be posed in relation to the Routemap are in response to the feedback received.
More feedback from practitioners is essential to help finalise the Routes for Learning materials. As well as gathering comments via an online form between 28 January and 6 March, two engagement events will be held:
- 11 February – Llandudno
- 25 February – Cardiff
The events are for practitioners working with learners with PMLD, and who may be using Routes for Learning. They will offer an opportunity to engage with practitioners and experts who have been involved in updating the materials; key questions will be asked of participants to gather views on the work to date.
Practitioners who would like to attend can request a place by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org (with school and your role details) before 31st January. Any enquiries about the feedback process or events can be emailed to the same address.
During the coming months, work will continue on updating the remainder of the Routes for Learning materials. Work will soon begin on the assessment booklet, and exemplification videos are also being gathered through the medium of English and Welsh. Should your school or setting wish to work with us to provide such videos, please email email@example.com.