Children with PMLD learn remotelyPosted: 10th February 2021
Parents of children with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD) have praised our school for our remote learning provision.
The majority of the students at the Designated Resource Provision at Royal Docks Academy have been staying home through the pandemic due to their complex medical conditions.
Their teachers and support staff, trained to provide specialist teaching, support medical interventions, therapeutic needs and to help them to achieve their potential, have been finding new ways to support their students remotely.
Along with mainstream schools up and down the country, the unit is providing lessons to its students at home.
To enable all students to access the online lessons, BMAT has provided families with laptops.
Parents have shared their gratitude for the support they and their children are receiving.
Shah Nawaz, whose son Moeez is in Year 12, said: “Online learning is working well and Moeez is happy to be involved. Moeez has enhanced his communications skills and, as parents, we have observed how Moeez’s curriculum is taught and the interest Moeez shows during his learning.”
Madalina Necatu’s daughter Alice is in Year 8. She said: “Alice is enjoying the online lessons. She is very active during the lessons and she tries to do her best.”
Mansoor Burhan, in Year 11, was among the students to receive a laptop from the school to enable remote learning. Parent Abdullah said: “The laptop my son received is helping him a lot. He is using it and enjoying it.
“Mansoor has the ability to listen and the skills to touch and feel things. He is listening to the sound of his teachers and following them and listens to the music they play.
“I have learned that he enjoys us working with him, playing with him and he feels people being around him and giving him company. As a family, we support Mansoor by preparing the laptop for him and other materials that he needs in his lessons.”
Mohammad Abdul Mannan, whose son Saif Ullah is in Year 12, said: “What has worked well is that Saif can understand that he has not been forgotten as he is seeing his peers and teachers. It also gives us, as parents, a platform to discuss any matters or concerns we have with the teacher.
“We have learnt that Saif has the ability to learn online. I was worried that he might not take to it very well, but as soon as he saw familiar faces on the screen, he seemed very energised and eager to participate.”
Zama Shozi, head of the PMLD unit, and her team are carrying out home visits to ensure families are coping with the new ways of learning. She said: “A high percentage of our students are actively engaging in learning from home. We have revised our curriculum to include topics we felt we could create resources for to send home, such as science experiments, cookery, yoga, maths and English. We have not given anything that will overwhelm our parents and teachers have been brilliant at providing simple steps for them to follow to support their child. We do not want to overburden the children when they do not have their teacher or teaching assistant with them, but we want to strike the balance of making sure learning is meaningful and children are enjoying it.
“We want the relationship between parent and child to remain as a nurturing one and for the teachers to take the lead with remote learning.
“Our parents have been amazing. They are engaging with their children in ways they never have done before and it is building their confidence. We can see how parents are enjoying the process. We want them to realise how capable they are. It has been great.
“If you had told me a year ago you would be taking the children away from me and we would be teaching them remotely at home, I would have said ‘absolutely not; it’s not possible’. Our children do not learn in the same way as other children and we have to take that into account. We are doing something we have never done before and rewiring our ways of teaching.”