Arbour Vale School we use an assessment system – Routes for Learning (RfL), which is especially designed for learners with complex, profound and multiple learning difficulties, often arising from sensory impairments, medical problems or motor disabilities.
RfL focuses on assessing the skills that are crucial for future learning, including early communication, social interaction and cognitive skills (core skills your brain uses to think, read, learn, remember, reason and pay attention).
The assessments are carried out through a combination of daily informal observations, 1:1 interactions with the child, talking to family members and liaising with specialist teachers and therapists.
We use RfL as a way of learning about the skills a child or young person already has. We then personalise and target the approaches so that they have a range of options (the Routes) to acquire crucial skills.
RfL is made up of 43 small steps that can be used to show progress over time. The targets that each pupil works on are always based on what they already understand and can do and they all follow their own pathway towards 7 developmental milestones. There is no set route or a need to follow either a communication route OR a cognitive one: the aim is to make the route specific to each individual according to their needs.
What is set though, is that each child has a baseline for each target which takes into account their personal preferences for:
– How they communicate
– Remembering previous learning and making links with new experiences
– Anticipating events, such as daily routines
– How they process new information
– How they interact with their peers and supporting adults
– How they solve problems and overcome challenges.
The baseline and the assessment give the class teacher the information they need to create the pupils Personal Learning Plans for the pupil’s communication and cognitive development.