About our school

SEN expertise

SEN Expertise

All our Teachers are encouraged to further their SEN training with this training  our staff are able to provide training and courses for staff, Professionals and Parents;

  • Sarah Hurrell; MOVE practitioner and works across the school to support the implementation of MOVE
  • Gail Weir, Nicki Kemp, Sarah Hurrell; PODD
  • Lorraine Bennett, Tracy Walker, Gail Weir, Nikki Dalton; Makaton
  • Lorraine Roberts; Halliwick
  • Helena Sullivan; has a Masters in Multi-Sensory impairment
  • Jenny Buck; has enrolled on the CAPBS Positive Behaviour Support Coaches Programme
  • Sandra Chaaya; Autism Specific Approaches (Behaviour, TEACCH,Social stories), SCERTS, PECS


At Waverley we believe that communication is the key to successful education. All our students have significant and in most cases severe communication difficulties. Therefore we strive to enable every student to be able to say what they want, to who they want, whenever they want. We use a variety of communication strategies to enable to students to communicate. We see every student as an individual and develop a communication pathway for each student based on their level of understanding, their interests and their learning style.



PODD is a communication system which can support children and young people who are non-verbal or are difficult to understand by offering a large vocabulary of aided language (symbols, photos and words). At Waverley a number of our students use podd communication books. Each book is individually made for the students to ensure they have a vocabulary which is interesting and motivating to them. We assess each student to ensure they can access the books to ensure ease of communication. For more details on podd contact the school office.



Makaton is a language program using signs and symbols to help people to communicate. It is designed to support spoken language and the signs and symbols are used with speech , in spoken word order.  We have two regional tutors and one local tutor at Waverley. All staff members are able to use Makaton to support student understanding. All students see Makaton being used and some students use it as their primary mode of communication. For more information about Makaton see www.makaton.org.



The Picture Exchange Communication System is a form of augmentative and alternative communication. It is used with a wide variety of learners who have variety communicative disorders. At Waverley a number of students use PECS to express themselves. We use many PECS strategies to support the student behaviour for example individual timetables, reward cards, take a break and wait. For more information on PECS see www.pecs.org.uk.


Tactile Signing For Sensory Learners. Touch is a vital channel of communication for learners at the earliest developmental levels. It has been said that it is “humankind’s earliest form of communication” (Gallace and Spence, 2010) and “our most fundamental means of contact with the outside world” (Hart, 2010). TaSSeLs is a system of touch-speech cues to promote effective communication with people with profound and complex learning disabilities, some of whom may have a visual impairment. Staff who work in classes with students who have a profound and multiple learning disabilities are given training to enable them to use TaSSeLs to support the students in their class. For more information on TaSSeLs see www.communicationmatter.org.uk.



MOVE provides a framework for collaborative working, with the expertise of all agencies channelled towards personal, functional, goals set by the participant & their family. This approach enables the development of lifelong physical, cognitive and communication skills, leading to improved independent & social inclusion and ultimately, quality of life. At Waverley we have 20 MOVE practitioners. All students who have a physical disability are encouraged to be as independent as possible whilst using assistive equipment to help them.  See more at: www.themovepartnership.org.uk.


4 blocks literacy

4 blocks literacy Developed more than a decade ago by literacy experts Dr. Patricia Cunningham and Dr. Dorothy Hall in conjunction with first grade teacher, Margaret DeFee, Four Blocks is a balanced-literacy* framework for teaching language arts in years 1-3. The Four Blocks program — based on the premise that all children don’t learn in the same way — integrates four language arts areas into reading instruction. Those areas are: guided reading, self-selected reading, writing, and working with words.


Colourful semantics

Colourful semantics is an approach created by Alison Bryan. It is aimed at helping children to develop their grammar but it is routed in the meaning of words (semantics). Some students use colourful semantics to support their understanding of language.