Routes for Learning: draft Curriculum for Wales 2022 version

Routes for Learning materials support practitioners in assessing the early communication and cognitive skills of learners with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD).

As part of our wider reform of curriculum and assessment arrangements, practitioners and experts from across Wales have started the process of updating the current Routes for Learning materials. They will be available in their final form in January 2020.

This suite of materials includes the Routes for Learning Routemap. On this page you will see links to an updated Routemap and links to examples of clips that exemplify some of the steps and milestones included on the Routemap. These are examples for you to provide feedback on. The full suite of clips to exemplify all steps and milestones on the Routemap will be made available in January 2020, reflecting your feedback on the initial examples.

The Routes for Learning Routemap provides an overview showing key milestones (shown in orange boxes) of early cognitive development, communication and social interaction. It is felt that learners will go through these key milestones, although the routes they take may vary according to their physical, sensory and learning needs.

Every key milestone and step (shown in blue boxes) on the Routemap is numbered for ease of reference. Learners should not be expected to achieve them in strict numerical order.

Proposals to update the Routemap

As you will see, we have updated the previous Routemap by:

  • removing Box 8, ‘Responds to own name’ – experience has shown that learners do not achieve this step independently at this early point
  • changing the wording of Box 7 from ‘Supported 1:1 turn-taking with adult’ to ‘Aided 1:1 turn-taking with adult’ to increase clarity.

We are developing an interactive Routemap, for publication in January 2020, in which practitioners can click on each box to view an exemplification clip (examples of such clips can be seen on this page).

As well as seeking your views on the above, we are also interested in whether any other aspects of the Routemap should be updated or further clarified.

Your feedback will be integral to helping shape our work going forward. We would be grateful if you would consider our proposals and respond to the questions included in the ‘Have your say’ section below, to be sent to by 19 July.

Ongoing work and next steps

The Routes for Learning materials also include an assessment booklet and additional guidance document, which are key to supporting practitioners in assessing learners with PMLD.

Both documents are currently being updated and will be further refined to reflect your feedback on the proposed changes to the Routemap, and in the context of Curriculum for Wales 2022. This work is being supported by experts and practitioners, including representatives from special schools within the pioneer network.

As we continue updating these materials, we would welcome your input. As such we intend to hold an engagement event during summer term 2019 to gather more detailed feedback and, potentially, identify further areas of development. Should you wish to express an interest in attending the engagement event(s), please contact us at

  • Routemap pdf 533 Kb This file may not be accessible. If you need a more accessible version of this document please email Please tell us the format you need. If you use assistive technology please tell us what this is

2. Reacts to close contact with familiar adult

7. Aided 1:1 turn-taking with adult

13. Anticipates repetitively presented stimulus

21. Communicates 'more'

22. Contingency responding

24. Changes behaviour in response to interesting event nearby

25. Contingency awareness

27. Communicates 'more' / 'no more' through two different consistent actions

41. Early problem-solving – tries new strategy when old one fails

42. Initiates actions to achieve desired result (exerting autonomy in variety of contexts)