The Wherry School will be an Academy Free School for children and young people aged 4-19 years who have autistic spectrum disorders.
In its first year of opening the school will provide places for 48 learners and then expand annually to take up to 100 full time learners within four years of opening. Learners will come from across Norfolk, however it is envisaged that most learners will live in the Norwich or greater Norwich areas. Click here for more information about Admissions.
There will be Primary, Secondary and Further Education Departments and as an Academy will deliver an adapted curriculum including an adapted National Curriculum providing an individualised programme for all learners. Click here for more information about our curriculum.
The staff to learner ratio will be 1:2 and staff understand the difficulties and barriers to learning that autism causes and will work to overcome these as a priority.
Autism specific approaches to teaching, learning, social behaviour and the environment, e.g. TEACCH, PECS, Social Stories, will be used.
Our school year will eventually be altered, through consultation with parents, children and other stakeholders, to allow for more even and perhaps shorter terms, interspersed with enrichment weeks. In 2017/18 we will follow the published Norfolk School Term Dates 2017/18. Consultation about the future year structure will take place during the upcoming Academic Year.
There will be designated areas for sensory room, soft play, small meeting/therapy, breakout rooms and an independence education area.
Times of change are difficult for those with autism and the use of carefully planned transition arrangements will be a key element including into adulthood.
The Wherry School brings together the key areas of education, health, care and family support to ensure the best possible outcomes for each learner.
The Wherry School will have four main elements to ensure the highest quality provision is offered to each learner, enabling successful and positive learning outcomes:
- Holistic Pathway
- Identification and assessment
- Family support
Giving our students the skills to succeed
- Our students will develop the skills they need to become independent learners.
- Our students will learn, thrive, gain greater independence and become economically independent.
- We will offer personalised teaching that builds on individual areas of strength and removes barriers to learning, so that all students reach their full potential and experience success.
Close support from all our staff
- Staff will deliver a high quality education and relate confidently with all students.
- We will have available to each student a range of interventions and therapies that are part of the educational process and not an additional or bolt-on support mechanism.
- Specialist professionals will work alongside our staff within our classrooms and education areas, providing a range of individual and small group interventions.
An open and collaborative approach
- Regular discussions will take place between professionals and parents or carers to ensure a dynamic and proactive approach to the learning needs of each student.
- Staff will work closely with supporting agencies and form strong partnerships with parents, carers and students to create an environment where students are challenged as well as nurtured.
- We will have an open door ethos and invite parents, carers and partners to be part of school life.
A centre of opportunity and community
- We will provide as wide a range of enrichment activities as possible when the school opens, and further develop these over the first four years, so an extensive and wide variety of opportunities is available to all students.
- Students will have access to additional specialist facilities, for example facilities for the arts and sport, through establishing links within the community.
- We will become a centre of expertise and share our skills and knowledge with other education establishments in Norfolk to support them with the education of children with autism, so a wider range of these children can access mainstream education.