The Wherry School is an Academy Free School for children and young people aged 4-19 years who have autistic spectrum disorders (Autism), whose learning abilities fall within the broadly average ability range (no diagnosed learning disability or difficulty).
Our students come from across Norfolk and North Suffolk, with places funded by both Norfolk and Suffolk Local Authorities. Click here for more information about Admissions.
There is a Primary, Secondary and Further Education Departments and as an Academy, the school delivers an adapted curriculum which mirrors the National Curriculum 2014, providing an individualised programme for all learners. Click here for more information about our curriculum.
The staff to learner ratio aims to be around 1:2; staff working within the school have a sound understanding of the difficulties and barriers to learning that autism causes and the curriculum offered, including skills and knowledge associated with supporting the particular needs of autistic learners are developed as discrete subjects, as well as embedded in the approaches to learning, to help the children and young people overcome these as a priority. See the ASSK tab on the menu for a more detailed breakdown of this.
Across the whole school in each class, Autism specific approaches to teaching, learning, social behaviour, social communication, social interaction, social imagination, behaviour modification and anxiety moderation, include Zones of Regulation, Talkabout Social Communication Programme, Positive Behaviour Strategies and plans. For individual pupils, aspects of other Autism Specific approaches are developed alongside the class-based offer, to meet individual needs, these may include TEACCH approaches, augmented communication approaches such as PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) – alongside bespoke programmes created by the school Clinical Professionals Team – click here for more information about the school clinical professional team
As well as classroom spaces which have been created to include aspects of best practice in design for pupils with Autism, by architects from LSI Associates and the Department for Education, the school includes a number of designated areas sensory regulation, sensory integration, small meeting/therapy rooms for professionals to use, breakout rooms and learning support areas: see Enabling Environment
Many children’s EHCPs state that pupils’ needs are best met in calm, consistent school environments, with small group teaching, as the children’s anxiety and stress levels have been aggravated by feeling trapped within a crowded room, or unable to cope with colours, displays, smells; children also find loud and crowded class spaces and corridors stressful and add additional stress and contribute to behaviours and meltdowns.