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Speech & Language Therapy (SaLT)

The development and support of speech, language and communication skills are a priority of Orchard Manor School.

Our SaLT team currently consists of Josie Parkin who is a registered Speech and Language Therapist and Chris Mahbouby who is the school Speech and Language Therapy Assistant. The school also has occasional input from the NHS special schools’ team.

Whilst Orchard Manor is fortunate to have its own Speech and Language Team, it is recognised that all staff support pupil’s communication and interaction.

All pupils are entitled to receive our core offer of support. This is a whole school approach where strategies to support communication and interaction skills are embedded across the school day in all environments. This could include strategies such as using appropriate visual resources, allowing processing time and breaking instructions down into smaller steps.

The core offer can also include more specific interventions and strategies depending on the pupil's needs. For example, Attention Autism groups, Lego Therapy, Intensive Interaction, Colourful Semantics and embedded Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) tools.

The core offer aims to create a Total Communication environment across the school to enable pupils to engage and communicate to the best of their ability. The speech and language team support the core offer by providing training to staff on strategies and interventions. We also make personalised resources to meet individual needs.

Some pupils may benefit from additional, targeted support. For pupils who staff feel require support beyond the core offer, they can be referred to the speech and language team for an assessment. This could include an observation in class or a more formal assessment.

Once the assessment is complete, the speech and language therapist will write a report. Recommendations could include additional strategies  in the class covered under the core offer or a block of one-to-one/small group intervention.

Intervention could be delivered by a member of the speech and language team or an HLTA.  HLTAs delivering intervention do so in collaboration with the SaLT Team.  Specialist, targeted support could include; supporting pupils using AAC, developing early interaction skills, supporting speech sound difficulties, developing narrative abilities and developing sentence structure and vocabulary.

If a pupil receives weekly one to one intervention, sessions will last for at least a full term. The Speech and Language Team works in blocks of intervention. This is to allow pupils time to practise skills outside of intervention sessions to generalise skills to their everyday environments.

If you have any questions or queries relating to any of the above, please get in contact with a member of the team. We are happy to supply resources for home when needed.


Josie ( and Chris (

Orchard Manor Speech and Language Therapy Team

Josie Parkin - Speech and Language Therapist

Josie Parkin
Speech and Language Therapist

Hello, I’m Josie and I am the  Speech and Language Therapist at Orchard Manor School.

I am a registered member of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and a fully certified member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.

I first began working at the school shortly after completing a degree in Speech and Language Therapy in February 2014. Initially, I worked as a teaching assistant on the lower site when it was Oakland’s Park School. I loved my time in this role and always hoped I would return one day to work in the school as a Speech and Language Therapist.

In December 2014 I started my role as the Speech and Language Therapist for Ratcliffe School which is now the Upper Campus of Orchard Manor.  My role and responsibilities have changed over the years and I am so pleased to now be working across both Upper and Lower campus.

I aim to continually develop the provision by using evidence-based interventions and current best practice guidance. I am committed to neurodiversity-affirming practice. 

I am a keen singer and often incorporate singing and music into my therapy sessions. Throughout the year, I run Makaton Choir groups where we sing and/or sign along to different songs. One of my highlights of working at the school was when the Makaton choir performed True Colours at the official school opening.

If you have any questions or require any further information please contact the SaLT therapist directly via her email:

Chris Mahbouby - Speech and Language Therapist Assistant

Chris Mahbouby
Speech and Language Therapist Assistant

Hello, I’m Chris and I am the Speech and Language Therapy Assistant at Orchard Manor School.

I began working here in January 2023 after working for the Portage service for 15 years.  It is now known as the Early Years Complex Needs Service.  I was involved with supporting children and their parents/carers in their home, across all developmental areas, including working in partnership with a number of professionals - from Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Behaviour therapists to Communication and Interaction Services.  I also worked in a range of educational settings.

For my whole working life - over 25 years now! - I have been working in education, from pre-schools, nurseries, and primary schools to linking in with specialist provisions. I have had the pleasure of working with a variety of children with a range of additional and complex needs and have been honoured to see the amazing progress they have been able to make with the support and the hard work of their parents/carers every day. 

I have seen how the input from the right services for their child, can help support the parents and support their child, ensuring they reach their full potential.   I am very excited to be able to use my knowledge and experience to support the wonderful children at Orchard Manor!

I love walking, reading, and having time with friends to chill and enjoy a coffee and cake! My favourite activity, however, is spending time with my three grandsons. I love to go out and about with them, particularly walks in the countryside pretending we are on a bear hunt, looking for treasure on the beach, or chilling at home with a good story book!