A school's curriculum comprises both statutory elements (including the National Curriculum, religious and careers education) and non-statutory elements (priorities defined by the school).

A child standing and readingOne of the fundamental principles of the code of practice is that all children, including those with special educational needs, should be offered full access to a broad, balanced and relevant education. This is what the National Curriculum was designed to provide.

Curriculum content

Some children who are multi-sensory impaired will follow the National Curriculum, usually with additional support. Others will follow a modified form of it, while some will follow more specialised developmental curricula which will include teaching a child things that non-disabled children already know by the time they start school.

Even children who follow the same curriculum as non-disabled peers, however, will usually need additional elements because of their deafblindness. These may relate to:

  • Mobility skills, communicationsensory development or other aspects specifically affected by deafblindness
  • Therapy needs - for example, physiotherapy
  • Concepts usually learned incidentally - for example, the interpersonal and independence skills used at break or meal times

Modifying the curriculum

All teachers modify the curriculum in order to meet the range of learning needs in their class. Children who are multi-sensory impaired are likely to need the curriculum modified on an individual basis, because each child's combination of hearing or visual impairment, other disabilities and learning characteristics will be different.

Children who are multi-sensory impaired will need help to generalise their learning, because deafblindness prevents children from learning incidentally by watching others. Multi-sensory impaired children usually need to be specifically taught how the skills and concepts they already have can be used in a range of situations.

Further information

MSI curriculum - Download a copy of the curriculum document for multi-sensory-impaired children, which was created in 2009 by Heather Murdoch and the MSI unit at Victoria School, Birmingham, and published by Sense. 

Related link

Children and young people

First published: Tuesday 22 May 2012
Updated: Tuesday 15 October 2013