Wyvern Academy is a purpose-built school in Weymouth for children and young people aged from 2 to 19 with complex needs, including Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Our recently-built school is part of an educational campus that includes a mainstream primary and secondary school as well as a nursery/childcare provider. We provide an Early Years’ service, primary and secondary classes and a sixth form. The majority of pupils at Wyvern have substantial global developmental delay, emergent communication skills and are highly dependent. Some have additional disabilities including cerebral palsy, sensory impairment, autism and/or complex needs including challenging behaviour.

Wyvern Academy is in partnership with Wey Valley School and Sports College and has a very positive relationship with St Nicholas and St Laurence School. The school is well-equipped with a gym hall, a hydrotherapy pool, interactive sensory and soft-play areas, outside playground areas and a vegetable plot. Classrooms are equipped with the latest computer technology, including tablet devices and communication aids.

We focus on children learning through play, helping them to develop their communication and social skills. There are also opportunities for pupils to learn alongside their peers at our campus partners ‘St Nicks’ and at Scallywags Nursery.

Alongside the on-going development of communication and social skills we also concentrate on developing basic literacy and numeracy skills, providing a rich and stimulating programme of study based on the National Curriculum. Educational targets are broken down into small steps enabling all children to learn and achieve. We endeavour to build strong links with our mainstream partners creating opportunities for children to work and play alongside their peers.

Our secondary education is geared to the individual strengths and abilities of each pupil. Young people are able to access specialist teaching from our partner secondary school. Dependent on individual strengths and abilities, subjects available include drama, art, dance, science and modern foreign languages. All students achieve nationally recognised qualifications including ASDAN Personal Progress and, where appropriate, entry level qualifications in English, mathematics, science and ICT.

Students are given the knowledge and skills needed to live fulfilling adult lives. They have opportunities to participate in enterprise learning which helps equip them for work situations along with developing life and independent living skills. Work experience and work-related learning forms a central part of the sixth form curriculum. Some students will be able to achieve qualifications such as NVQ preparing them to move on to college or work.

For pupils with communication difficulties the school uses signing, the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and new technologies including iPads and eye-controlled communication systems. For children with autism as the primary need we use the TEACCH approach, developing a highly structured programme around pupils’ skills, interests and needs, including sensory integration. For children with profound learning difficulties, including additional mobility and medical requirements, the curriculum is tailored to meet individual needs with the use of physical and sensory programmes to allow pupils to make the best progress possible.

We take a holistic approach to the education of children at Wyvern and in recognition of this we offer additional services which include:

  • Working in partnership with Regard for Children to provide Saturday and holiday clubs for disabled children in the local area. They also provide residential short breaks for children to stay overnight.
  • Working as part of a team with therapists to offer high-quality speech and language, OT and physiotherapy support for pupils who require these services.
  • Working with the MOVE programme for children who need to develop and maintain their mobility.

Vision

To provide a learning community which gives every young person the opportunity to develop their full potential in learning through our knowledge, care, commitment, friendship and the appreciation of every individual achievement.

Mission

To be ‘more than just a school’, committed to making a difference to the lives of young people and their families by valuing and respecting everyone as individuals and as part of an inclusive society.