Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD)

Learners with severe learning difficulties (SLD) have very significant intellectual or cognitive impairments. Their cognitive and/or attainment levels are normally at or below the 0.01 percentile. This has a major effect on their ability to participate in the school curriculum without support.

Learners with SLD may also have difficulties in mobility and co-ordination, communication and perception and the acquisition of self-help skills. They will need support in all areas of the curriculum. They may also require teaching of self-help, independence and social skills. The majority remain dependent on adults for all aspects of their care. Some pupils may communicate through use of sign and symbols but most will be able to hold simple conversations. Their attainment levels may be expected to remain at or below Level 1.

Curriculum Resources for SLD

These curriculum resources are developed for learners with severe learning difficulties (SLD). They aim to provide teachers with support in the planning, teaching and assessment process within the classroom. All these units are aligned with the Northern Ireland Curriculum.

Literacy for Key Stage 3 Learners Literacy for Key Stage 3 Learners

These literacy units for Key Stage 3 learners with cognitive difficulties use engaging scenarios taken from the media around them to develop their literacy skills. They provide teachers with unitised teaching frameworks to enhance learning and make it more exciting, dynamic and effective for the learners.

Personal Development & Mutual Understanding Personal Development & Mutual Understanding

This thematic unit for Key Stage 1 learners aims to provide teachers with support in the planning, teaching and assessing of PDMU within the curriculum.

The World Around Us The World Around Us

This thematic unit for Key Stage 2 learners aims to provide teachers with support in the planning, teaching and assessing of The World Around Us within the curriculum.

Learning for Life and Work Learning for Life and Work

These resources give learners an opportunity to explore some of the issues and challenges that will face them as independent adults. LLW reading books have been developed to support the thematic units.

Assessment for SLD

Learners who have statements of severe learning difficulties are exempted from the statutory assessment arrangements. However, assessment should still be part of the planning, teaching and learning cycle. Effective assessment identifies learners’ individual strengths and needs and provides information about learner progress.

A range of assessment frameworks have been developed to support teachers with the assessment process. All these frameworks are aligned with the Northern Ireland Curriculum.

Quest for learningQuest for learning

Quest for learning is a guidance and assessment resource to support teachers and classroom assistants of learners with profound & multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), providing ideas for and pathways to learning.

Prerequisite Skills (Q Skills)Prerequisite Skills (Q Skills)

The Prerequisite Skills, or more commonly known as Q Skills, are an assessment resource to support teachers and classroom assistants. The Q Skills provide a broad and inclusive framework for assessing learners, taking into account age, cognitive ability, learning difficulties and other significant complex needs.

SEN Thinking Skills & Personal Capabilities frameworkSEN Thinking Skills & Personal Capabilities framework

The Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities framework aims to help learners develop their skills for lifelong learning and operating effectively in society. It includes information about progression maps, as well as supporting activities and resources.