Ivel Valley


At Ivel Valley, we recognise that communication is an essential part of a child and young person’s development and that this should be placed at the heart of our curriculum. The model of speech and language support at Ivel Valley aims to utilise the skills of professionals and increase the effectiveness of speech and language provision by embedding into the everyday delivery of the curriculum and classroom environments. 

Communication Team

Ruth Ellison

Senior Leader overseeing Communication

Ivel Valley School

Chloe Pattenden

NHS Speech and Language Therapist

Phemie Innes

NHS Speech and Language Therapist

Ivel Valley School

Hannah Anthony

Speech and Language Therapist

Claire Halls

Communication Support Worker

Millie Bush

Communication Support Worker

Communication Model

We are fortunate to be able to employ a Speech and Language Therapist and a Communication Support Worker who work directly within and for the school. Their role is to support the school in ensuring classrooms and the wider school environment are communication friendly and the staff have the necessary skills and resources to provide a communication rich environment and curriculum that focuses on communication and language development. Their main role is focussed on the ‘universal’ level of support. 

NHS Speech and Language therapists also play a significant role in developing the communication skills for those pupils that are on the NHS caseload, which is a significant number of our pupils. The NHS therapists will be responsible for working more directly with pupils themselves and families to ensure all pupils on their caseload have a meaningful and up-to-date communication system that is effective now and prepares them for the future. Their main role is focussed on the ‘targeted’ and ‘specialist’ level of support.

Communication - 3 Tiers of Support

As outlined above, we offer three levels of support for pupil’s communication skills. Most pupils will fall into the ‘universal’ level of support, which means their speech and language needs can be met within our specialist school environment. The diagram below outlines the three tiers of support. 


Communication Curriculum

The curriculum for communication is split into 3 strands:

  • Listening and Attention
  • Understanding
  • Speaking 

A summary of the strands and stages can be found below:

Communication – Listening and Attention

Communication – Understanding

Communication – Speaking

The communication curriculum has been designed and written with the support of Speech and Language Therapists and also considers the Early Years framework, the three stages within the SCERTs framework (an approach we adopt as a school) and the National Curriculum Speaking and Listening expectations.


The intent of the Communication & Language curriculum is for pupils to:

  • Express themselves confidently and fluently in whichever means is accessible for them
  • Understand receptive communication to enable meaningful interaction with others and the world around them
  • Have the expressive and receptive language skills in order to support their emotional regulation and mental well-being
  • Experience the joy and pleasure of communicating and interacting with others
  • Develop the ability to listen and attend to others

The teaching of communication underpins every aspect of the curriculum at Ivel Valley.  All teaching, beginning in Early Years, works towards preparing our pupils for adulthood through being effective communicators.  We understand and honour the voice of every pupil in whichever form it takes. Our aim is that every pupil at Ivel Valley will have a communication system that is right for them and allows them to express their wants, needs, comment, decline/reject and socially communicate with a range of people, across a range of settings.

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