Pre-formal Learners & The Engagement Model

Ivel Valley School’s Pre-Formal Curriculum 

Our pre-formal curriculum – Stages 1 to 3 of the IVSC curriculum, is for pupils who have profound and complex needs.  

This curriculum is designed to meet the needs of pupils via a personalised approach which focusses on an individual’s; 

  • Communication and Interaction,
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health
  • Physical and or sensory needs
  • Cognitive & Learning

These skills establish the foundation of learning.  The outcomes identified on a pupil’s Personal Learning Plan will be incorporated into their individualised teaching. Our Pre-Formal curriculum recognises the importance of movement and exploration in a child’s development and the need for sensory and multi-sensory approaches to learning. These learners engage in non-subject specific study.


Pupils that are not making the expectations set out in the Pre-Key Stage Standards will be assessed using the Engagement Model. These learners will be working alongside Ivel Valley School’s curriculum Framework at Stages 1-3 (occasionally in stage 4).  There are 5 areas of engagement that these pupils are assessed in; Exploration, Persistence, Realisation, Initiation and Anticipation. This assessment method allows us to honour all steps of progress made by our learners and helps inform our teaching so that we can understand how we can best support them to make progress by delivering a personalised curriculum.