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.

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.