About our school

Pupils needs and admissions

DFE age range                3 -19
Category of Need           SLD and PMLD
Number (2021-2022)   162 pupils on roll

Pupils’ Needs and Admission Criteria

Waverley School is a Local Authority maintained special school for pupils with severe and profound learning difficulties. All pupils at the school with having an Education, Health, and Care Plan. For all pupils, their learning disability will be their overarching need and many have co-occurring complex medical and/or physical needs. Students at the school are at the earliest stages of communication with the majority of pupils being non-verbal and the curriculum is designed to provide opportunities to develop these crucial skills.

Waverley School

virtual tour; Our main school is a single-story building for pupils aged Year 2 upwards it is equipped with 13 classrooms, as well as specialist rooms for Art and Music. Each classroom has a shared individual learning space and each department has a kitchen. Each department has toilets located near the classrooms. We also have a swimming pool, a training pool, a hydro pool, a sand and water room, a library, an IT suite, a sensory room, a soft playroom, and a sensory gym. We have three playgrounds which are divided into departments to enable age-appropriate play. We have a gymnasium and two therapy rooms. We have a meeting room and family room, nurses room, and therapy offices. We have gardens for planting and two sensory gardens one of which has a memory tree.

Our two Pre-school are located nearby, in purpose build buildings, accessible to wheelchairs, equipped with 2 classrooms, each has a kitchen and meeting rooms.


Virtual tour: The satellite provision Waverley at Honilands has 27 places across 3 classes for Nursery, Reception, and KS1 pupils with severe and profound learning difficulties. Children in the Nursery and Reception age range will be functioning significantly below their chronological age in most areas of development and will typically be working in the birth to a 12-month range of development in most areas. They may have an inconsistent developmental profile.

Waverley@Bell Lane

Virtual tour: The satellite provision Waverley at Bell Lane has 18 places for children with autism in KS1. The style of teaching in the provision is low arousal in comparison to the rest of the school as it is tailored to the needs of the cohort and is organised as an Early Years setting.

The curriculum

The school’s curriculum has been created to meet the needs of the pupils.  Both Bell Lane and Honilands follow a play-based curriculum called the springboard curriculum. The main school curriculum builds on the early interventions of Honilands and Bell Lane. There are 3 levels that allow pupils to build on their knowledge and skills without limiting them to one pathway. Level 1 has four subject areas which offer opportunities to engage with others while developing prerequisite skills needed for Level 2 which branches in six subject areas
and Level 3 which has nine subject areas.  Children and young people attending the school will typically have a life-long and complex
learning disability which may require a multi-disciplinary service response and their ability to make progress will be severely limited across all areas of development. Pupils will have considerable difficulties with appropriate social interaction, communication, and understanding and may have behaviours that could be considered challenging. They are likely to have severely limited self-help skills and minimal awareness of danger. Pupils will be predominantly dependent on additional support for personal care skills and are usually
reliant on additional support for activities and travel. Where there has been standardised testing of cognitive functioning, children and young people will be assessed as being below the 1 st percentile.
Pupils may have a severe impairment caused by:

 injury
 illness
 a congenital condition or
 a genetic disorder

These may cause a severe loss of, or difference in, physiological or psychological function. Children and young people may have little control over their physical functioning, may have difficulties with swallowing, feeding, and drinking, dysphagia, or an additional neurological
impairment such as epilepsy and their impairment may have a profound effect upon their ability to access learning and on their attainment and achievement at school. The majority of children and young people will require the use of alternative or augmentative approaches and aids to support their communication. Some children and young people may require a gastrostomy tube to enable their nutritional needs to be met. A few children and young people may also have significant health needs which require regular or continuous medical intervention, such as deep suctioning or aerosol-generated procedures (AGP). Children and young people may require a wide variety of specialist equipment in order to access learning and to support the development of their learning and of their physical and communication skills.

Our staff

Waverley staff have developed an understanding and expertise in working with students with the most complex needs. Our staff work as a team of teachers, teaching assistants, care co-ordinator, music therapists, and peripatetic teachers for the hearing and visually impaired. All members of our team work collaboratively ensure best practice is provided for the students. Each class teacher is responsible for the day-to-day pastoral and educational needs of the students in the class.

Working with other agencies

The staff works closely with a range of other professionals in order to meet the individual needs of the students including speech and language therapists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists school nurses, pediatricians, dieticians, wheelchair services, and social workers. We also work closely with mainstream colleagues to support the inclusion of students in the mainstream ( see outreach). We encourage mainstream schools to make links with us. We have integration afternoons with mainstream pupils from Suffolk’s school and Kingfisher school. (prior covid 19 restrictions).

Waverley Parents

We enjoy working with families. For our students to develop their skills and knowledge we believe families hold the key. Partnership with families is a two-way process, exchanging ideas with each other enables our students to practice their newfound skills at school and at home. The partnerships created in the Pre-schools build over the students’ time at Waverley main school and together we can maximise the students’ learning. We hold a regular coffee morning and training workshops designed to meet the social and academic needs of our families. Families attend annual reviews, meet the teacher days, and open days. We encourage all our families to think about becoming governors. We use class dojo to communicate with our families.  This platform enables families who have English as a second language to have communications translated into preferred languages.

Encouraging Healthy Lifestyles

We have been awarded Healthy School status – Platinum. Our catering team works hard to offer tasty, healthy lunchtime meals. Our speech and language therapist works closely with class teams and lunchtime play leaders to ensure staff has the skills to feed students who are learning to manage their food. Staff is able to support students who require feeds through gastro sites.

Please click here for the admission guidance

We believe that every Waverley student has the potential to develop and learn new skills
We believe that every Waverley student has the potential to develop and learn new skills