Gillingham Primary School

Gillingham Primary School

Speech & Language Base

Speech, Language and Communication Base

Our Base takes up to 16 pupils with Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN). Children are offered a placement within the Base following referral and selection by the Admissions Panel at Dorset County Hall.  Referral to the Admissions Panel requires a child to have an EHCP, Educational, Health and Care Plan.

The children receive specialist teaching for Maths and Literacy within the Base; usually during the morning sessions.   The Base has Specialist Speech and Language therapists who provide intensive therapy and support.   The children join their mainstream class for all other curriculum subjects, activities and trips whenever this is appropriate to their individual needs.

The Base team works closely with the class teachers to ensure the children have the support they need to access the mainstream curriculum. 

Base Team

Caroline Hellis                         Base Leader and Teacher

Sally Gallini-Poole                  Specialist Speech and Language Therapist


Base Teaching Assistants

Susan Yeates                          Lead Base Teaching Assistant

Ellie Fitzgerald                         

Gemma Beasley


The Base Teachers work closely with the Speech & Language Therapists to ensure the children have access to a broad and balanced curriculum.  They attend Person Centred Review Meetings and liaise with outside agencies, e..g Educational Psychologists, Occupational Therapists, Health & Social Care, Community Health Services.

The Specialist Speech & Language Therapists assess children’s speech, language and communication skills. They then create individual therapy programmes to address specific needs and demonstrate how to carry out the programmes with the specialist teaching assistants.

Specialist Teaching Assistants support children in class and during unstructured activities e.g play time, where necessary.


Our Aim

Our aim is to help every child develop their speech, language and communication skills to a level where they can learn in a mainstream class, interact successfully with their families, friends and teachers and contribute as independent, confident, happy members of the school community.



Many of the children in the Base come to school by taxi or mini-bus and their parents may not be able to meet with the Base teachers on a regular basis. Therefore we try to overcome this by keeping a Home-School Book.   Parents and school staff use the book to send messages, ask questions, voice concerns. Parents can phone the school office at any time and leave a message and one of the Base team will return their call as soon as they can. We also hold a social event each term which gives parents a chance to meet each other, talk to the team and see some of their children’s work.

Questionnaires are sent out to parents once a year. This provides valuable feedback and helps plan for the future.


Person Centred Review Meetings

All children in the Base have an EHCP, Educational, Health and Care Plan.  This plan is reviewed every year at their Person Centred Review.