Ivel Valley School is an Area Special School for pupils aged from 3 to 19 years, who have complex learning needs.
We have a wide range of experience and expertise in addressing the needs of pupils with moderate, severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties. Many of our pupils have additional needs, such as sensory and physical difficulties.
We have a growing number of pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Ivel Valley School is recognised as a centre for teaching children with autism and related communication difficulties.
The School is organised into primary and secondary sites located on The Baulk and Hitchmead Road respectively.
The primary site has six classes catering for students between the ages of 3 to 13 years, whilst the secondary site has ten classes catering for students aged 12 to 19 years.
The secondary site is also where our class for pupils in Years 5 to 9 with significant behavioural needs is placed. Our Early Years and some of our Key Stage One pupils are based in the adjoining mainstream nursery.
Pupils occasionally move between the two main sites for specific functions, whole school activities and to use specialist facilities such as the food technology room or the outside gym.
We support inclusive practices for pupils with special educational needs; however, we also recognise that inclusion in a mainstream setting may not be appropriate for all our students and that for others it may only be appropriate for specific stages of their school life.
In order to offer flexible opportunities for those that might benefit from mainstream inclusion, we have established successful satellite classes co-located with Langford Village Academy, Biggleswade Academy and Stratton Upper Schools catering for pupils in the three phases of mainstream education currently operated by Central Bedfordshire.
Our satellite classes are an integral part of Ivel Valley School, but offer the opportunity for our students to join with some of the lessons and activities delivered by their host school.
Decisions about placement in one of our satellite classes are taken jointly by the school and parents/carers; but always with the best interest of the pupil in mind. We expect new entrants to spend at least one term on one of our main sites, so that we can properly assess the student’s abilities and needs, before any decision is taken about placement in a satellite class.
At Ivel Valley we have substantially smaller class sizes than would normally be found in a community mainstream school, reflecting the additional levels of need of our students. All our classes are led by a qualified teacher, supported by a number of teaching assistants according to need.
We allocate pupils to a particular class according to age, individual need and ability. With the exception of our youngest pupils, we avoid mixed classes of pupils with moderate, severe and profound and multiple difficulties, as we believe this is detrimental to delivering an appropriate curriculum and achieving the best results for all pupils.
Aside from the Headteacher and her Deputy, who have responsibilities for the entire school and split their time appropriately between all aspects of school life, we also employ two Assistant Head Teachers (Heads of Site) who have specific day to day responsibilities involving looking after the primary and secondary sites and their associated satellite classes.
Whilst the Headteacher and her Deputy are always available to meet with parents, class teachers and the respective Head of Site will normally be the first point of contact for parents/carers wishing to discuss issues affecting their children.