The Dart Programme

Kate enjoying independence by being able to turn on the bubble machine and music by using switches!
Kate enjoying independence by being able to turn on the bubble machine and music on her own by using switches!

The Exe and Dart Programmes are both based on meeting the aspirations of the learners. This is achieved by agreeing long term outcomes and by setting individual targets around the five identified areas of development within the Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP):

  • cognition and learning
  • communication and interaction
  • social and emotional well-being
  • sensory, physical and/or mental needs
  • social care needs.


The Dart Programme

The Dart Programme is designed to meet the needs of visually impaired young people with Complex Needs and Learning Difficulties. It is developed around four distinct ‘landscapes’ within which learners acquire skills that support them in their preparation for adult life.

  • Creative (enrichment skills) – art, dance, drama, literature, music, radio, resonance boards, sensory exploration
  • Daily Living Skills (independence skills) – community/home-based
  • Physical (orientation and movement skills) – ball/parachute games, cycling, multi-gym, rebound therapy, swimming, walking
  • Social (participation and work skills) – community engagement, supported on/off-site voluntary work.
Budding radio presenter Sammi enjoying her time on-air!
Budding radio presenter Sammi enjoying her time on-air!

Learners are able to negotiate these ‘landscapes’ through the structure of their timetables. The Dart Programme encourages appropriate measures of independence and autonomy and organises educational experiences around the medical and therapeutic needs of the individual.

The day commences with self-organisation which encourages learners to engage for themselves in the transition between their residences and the school and college setting. This might involve the collection of items they need or independent travel between locations.

The main element of the day consist of Creative, Daily Living Skills, Physical and Social Skills, as described above. The day ends with self-evaluation which gives the learners an opportunity to consider their experiences and identify successes ahead of the transition back to their residences.

Timings are approximate with individuals themselves determining the pace or otherwise of their progression between the various elements of their programme.

Where appropriate, individuals may achieve accreditation via the OCR Life and Living Skills scheme.