George Hastwell School

Multi-Sensory Impairment (MSI) Curriculum Pathway

We follow a specialist curriculum for our MSI pupils, created by Dr Heather Murdoch (2009) and colleagues from the MSI unit at Victoria School, Birmingham. It is a formalised approach based on years of experience in developing curriculum approaches for pupils who are deafblind and multi-sensory impaired.

Pupils following the MSI Curriculum all have a multi-sensory impairment (MSI) – combined hearing and visual impairments (deafblindess), often with additional physical, sensory, medical and/or learning difficulties. 

The MSI Curriculum is less prescriptive than many models, and does not include specific schemes of work. Instead it describes how a pupil’s learning will be structured and managed, by means including:

  • staff behaviour and expectations
  • teaching environments
  • teaching objectives and strategies
  • timetabling
  • the complexity of information provided to pupils
  • the balance of group and individual work

This approach allows for considerable flexibility in curriculum delivery. In turn this means that the curriculum is appropriate for pupils with any combination of hearing, visual and other sensory impairments and does not, for example, limit the participation of pupils with no sight.

The MSI curriculum is divided into eight domains, each addressing a specific aspect of learning. The domains are:

  • social relationships and emotional development
  • communication
  • conceptual development
  • sensory responses
  • understanding of time and place
  • orientation, movement and mobility
  • ownership of learning
  • responses to routines and changes