In May 2003 Mayfield School was launched as a MOVE Regional Centre of Excellence, the first in Europe. The opening ceremony was performed by Joss Naylor, the grandfather one of our Mayfield pupils. He made the occasion very special, entertaining everyone with his wonderful tales.
MOVE (Mobility Opportunities via Education) is an innovative teaching programme which combines therapy and education to teach children with physical disabilities and complex needs the functional skills of sitting, standing and walking. MOVE aims to give these children the opportunity to lead more independent and therefore more fulfilling lives. For some children this might be learning to hold their own cup, for others it might be learning to walk independently and having the opportunity to explore their environment.
MOVE uses a top down approach that focuses on activities that people are motivated to achieve, rather than on what they cannot do. In an initial assessment with the family of the individual, goals are determined and a time frame to achieve these goals is set. The goals are then broken down into activities within which manageable and achievable targets are set.
The MOVE programme focuses on a team approach and involves all those people who work with each individual disabled person e.g. parents and carers, teachers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and care assistants.
MOVE can have far reaching benefits. It can lead to significant improvement in:
- Cognitive development and communication skills
The more you can move around, the more interest you have in the world around, and the more you are able to be part of it. This improves access to learning and education and inclusion in every sense.
Movement can help to control deformities, increase bone density and muscle tone (limbs grow faster), reduce the severity of dislocations and improve breathing, circulation and digestion.
- Social Inclusion
As children develop their mobility skills, they can begin to take a more active role in their own life. They can participate in family activities, games and play. This benefits the family and wider community too.
Once young people are mobile, we must ensure that they have a right to maintain their mobility through functional opportunities through all the school day.
'Two steps backwards, first steps to independence.
Even if we only teach a child to take to steps backwards on their own, it might meant that they can now go to the toilet without help - giving them the independence, privacy and dignity they want most'
Every Child deserves the chance to MOVE