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As a school, Arbour Vale is seeing pupils enter the school with a much more diverse range of needs including young people with profound learning difficulties and complex health needs. These young people require a very specialised and nurturing curriculum to be provided which enables them to:

  • make sense of their world
  • learn how to communicate their needs and wants
  • feel safe and have their needs met.


We continue to celebrate and promote diverse social needs through ensuring that the pupils take part in activities with their peers from within their own phase and that of other phases.

Pupils working within the PMLD Department of the school engage in a very holistic approach to learning.  They follow a Pre-Formal Curriculum, designed to meet their needs and celebrate their success at a level appropriate to them.

At Arbour Vale School we use the student Education, Health & Care Plan to support staff in identifying targets and use these to underpin the learning activities that take place. The EHCP is at the centre of everything we do for young people with PMLD.  Through knowledge of the young people, their communication methods, their motivators for engagement and observation we are able to track pupil engagement and their progress in learning. We use the Engagement Model to assess all our pupils with PMLD and track their engagement in addition to using MAPP and Evidence for Learning to assess their EHCP targets. This helps us to provide a holistic model of education to our pupils.

If you would like to know more about the PMLD Department or the bespoke Pre-Formal Curriculum, please do contact the PMLD Lead Teacher, Ellie Brady at