Wargrave House School
Wargrave House is a non-maintained residential special school and college for children and young people aged 5-25 years, diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder. We can offer a multidisciplinary and holistic approach towards education and care which centres on social, communication and flexible thinking approaches. We also offer support for families through a dedicated family liaison team.
Services we offer include local authority funded day and residential placements and extended school services (after school, Saturday, school holiday and short term break provision).
Who to contact
Where to go
- Wargrave House School & College
449, Wargrave Road
- WA12 8RS
The following questions have been developed by and may be of particular interest to children and young people
1. How will the school /college know if I need extra help?
When you apply for a place Wargrave House will receive some information from your teachers and other people involved in your education and care. Wargrave House staff will then visit you in your current school and/or at home to assess you to find out what extra help you need. When you start your placement at Wargrave House, your teacher will also assess you (this is called a baseline assessment).
2. What should I do if I think I need extra help?
You will be involved in setting your own goals and targets to help you be successful. This will be done using mind-maps to help you understand what support you need. Every day, you and the teacher will keep track of your progress. You can speak to your teacher, speech and language therapist or school health nurse if you think you need extra help.
3. If I have difficulty taking part in school/college activities what different arrangements can be made for me?
Wargrave House provides a very personalised approach to allow you to take part in all school or college activities. We will do this by providing extra support for you like more staff to support you, helping you to cope with changes, and teaching you to recognise when you are finding things difficult so that you can make choices yourself about how to cope.
If you have difficulties speaking or communicating, our speech and language therapists will assess you and provide you with tools and equipment (such as PECS, ‘book for talking’ or iPOD) to help you take part in school, college and later life. If you have sensory difficulties, our occupational therapist will assess you and provide staff and parents/carers with ideas and equipment to help you. Our school is organised in such a way as to help you understand what is expected of you. If you need medical help to support you to focus on your learning, our school health nurse will work closely with your parents/carers and family doctor to ensure your health and medical needs are met.
There are also lots of ways we use to show you how well you are doing like rewards and special awards.
4. How will I participate in planning my targets?
Every child at Wargrave House School takes part in planning their own targets. You will work one-to-one with your teacher to look at what you need to learn and he/she will help you to complete a mind-map, showing what your target is and the steps you will need to take to reach your goal. You or your teacher will then write your targets on a weekly chart and each day you will check for yourself how you have done.
Every year you will be given a questionnaire before your annual review meeting. You will be encouraged to think about how well you are doing, what things you need to learn to do better and who/what will help you to improve.
5. How does the school/college know how well I’m doing?
Staff will carefully monitor your progress against targets you and they have set. They will know how well you are doing and help you to keep track yourself by looking at the ‘next steps’ you will need to take to make more progress at the end of every lesson. Your teacher will record your progress regularly on his/her computer to help track your progress. Samples of your work will be kept in a file. Every year, you will be video-recorded at work in different lessons and this will be shared with your parents/carers and other people when they come to your annual review meeting. Your teacher will report on your progress to your parents/carers twice a year at parents’ evening and will write a report for your annual review meeting.
6. Who will help me to be more independent in school?
All staff will help you be more independent in school. We structure our environment to help you find your way round and make it clear to you where people and things are. We display daily schedules and timetables so that you know what you are doing now and what will happen next. Speech and language therapists alongside class staff will help you to say what you need or want throughout the day, even at meal and break times. You will practice skills like dressing, cooking and cleaning so that you can look after yourself as best you can.
7. Who will help me to be more independent in my community?
Wargrave House School is in Newton-le-Willows, a small market town with easy access to local shops and public transport. You will practice your skills outside of school in real environments like shops, parks and local transport so that you experience life in the real world. You will use local facilities like the public swimming pool and gym so that you know how to access these in your own home community with your family or carers. Your teacher, class staff and therapists will help you. If you stay overnight at school or go to after school, weekend and holiday clubs residential staff will also help you.
8. How will my parents/carers be supported to encourage me to be more independent?
Wargrave House School has a Family Liaison Officer who will visit your parents/carers regularly to talk about how you are getting on and to show your parents/carers how they can help you. Usually during school holidays, therapists will also visit your home to talk about any problems you or your family might be having, how they can help you and then tell your class staff if you need more help. Your parents/carers are invited to a meeting with class staff twice a year (usually in November and July) to look at your work and talk to your teacher, therapist and nurse. You will also be given homework to complete at home with your parents/carers so that they can also encourage you to be more independent. This might include practising some of the things you have learnt in school at home for your parents/carers. Your parents/carers will tell your teacher how well you have done.
Every day, if you come to school daily, or weekly if you stay the night at school, your teacher (and/or residential staff) will write to your parents/carers to tell them what you have done that day or week. If you stay at school, you will also be able to telephone your parents/carers during the evening to tell them how you are getting on with doing things for yourself.
9. Who should I speak to if I’m worried about something?
You can speak to any staff in confidence. If staff are worried about you, or what you tell them, they will tell you that they need to speak to a senior staff. This is to keep make sure you are safe. If you stay at school overnight, you will be helped to choose a staff who will look after you. This person is called your keyworker. They will spend some time with you every evening to talk about how you are feeling and ask whether you want to tell them about anything you are worried about or if you want to make a complaint.
10. How do school/college staff get extra help from other experts?
Wargrave House has its own team of experts to support your class and residential staff. These include a school health nurse, speech and language therapists and an occupational therapist. If you or your family need help to support you to see your doctor or to go to a hospital, dental or eye appointment, they can ask the school nurse to help. If you need any other help, we will speak to your local authority first.
11. What help is there to get me ready to start college?
Before you start you will be invited to visit so that you can find out about the school or college, and meet the staff and other students. The Family Liaison Officer will visit your parents/carers at home to find out about your needs and interests and to get information, such as who to call in an emergency as well as your health needs.
The class teacher and therapist will also visit your home to help them to prepare resources for when you start coming. This usually takes about three weeks. You will also receive a booklet explaining what you can expect to see when you visit school, who you will meet and who will be in your class.
Your local authority will talk to your parents about your transport to school and they will tell us the arrangements.
12. What help is there to get me ready to start work?
When you are 14/15 years old, you will study ‘work related learning’. This course helps you prepare for the world of work. Wargrave House buys independent advice and guidance for students from Career Connect. You will meet your Personal Advisor in year 9 who will talk to you and your teacher about your plans for the future. They will share the information with your parents/carers, other professionals and your local careers service so that everyone knows what you want to do.
When you are in year 11, you will take part in work experience. You might take on a job in school or college or out of school with a local business. When you are 16 years old and above, you will take part in extended work experience. This might include taster sessions, finding out about the jobs people do, or work experience with local businesses. Wargrave House has good links with local businesses and students have worked at Tesco, O2, the local Community Centre, a hairdressing salon, a car showroom, a pet shop and with local park rangers, as well as other places. You will learn about interviews, how to write your cv, how to get to work, health and safety and lots more.
Wargrave House is part of the NEED project which aims to secure employment opportunities with national companies that can be sustained in future when you leave school or college.
The following questions have been developed by and may be of particular interest to parents and carers
1.How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child’s education?
You will be involved in discussions about and planning for your child’s education from the start. You can arrange to visit the school to talk about what we do and see the provision yourself by telephoning us on 01925 224899 and asking to speak to our Family Liaison Officer. When your local authority has agreed a place and Wargrave House have identified that it can meet your child’s needs, our Family Liaison Officer will arrange to meet you at home or in school to complete an admissions form and to take details about emergency contacts and your child’s health.
You will be given the opportunity to meet your child’s therapists and teaching staff to help them prepare for your child’s start at school. If your child’s placement is residential, you will also be invited to school to see your child’s bedroom and help them to personalise this with items from home. You will meet residential staff and your child’s Care Manager.
Your child will be provided with a Home/School Liaison Diary which will tell you about their day and gives space for you to comment or pass on important information. Wargrave House encourages an open relationship with parents/carers in the best interests of your child. You are encouraged to contact the school via the home/school diary, telephone calls or emails if you wish to speak to anyone or inform us of any concerns about your child. We will always try to get back to you the same day.
You will receive information about the educational and personal targets we hope to set for your child, including Individual Education Plan (IEP), Placement Plan (for residential placements) targets as well as individual learning programme outcome targets. Your contribution towards these is valued.
Parents/carers are invited to attend annual review meetings and encouraged to contribute in writing towards your child’s review. If you or we wish to meet outside of this statutory review meeting, you may contact the Head of Education to arrange this.
If your child is Looked After, you will be invited to additional meetings led by an Independent Reviewing Officer. These meetings are usually held in school and may take place during the evening. Your child’s social worker usually attends these meetings.
The Family Liaison Officer is your main point of contact if you need help with benefits or assessments to support you at home. They will also be there to support you when your child’s placement changes, to help you plan for these changes and to support you to find out more about any future provision you think your child might need.
2. How will school/college staff support my child?
All staff at Wargrave House are trained and experienced in supporting children and young people with autistic spectrum disorders and associated learning difficulties. Classes are small (a maximum of 8 students supported by a class teacher and two or three teaching support assistants). Therapies are integrated, that is, speech and language and occupational therapists work wherever the child works, so in classrooms, in the dining room and out and about in our local community. They will also provide one-to-one sessions according to the child’s needs.
Wargrave House School recognises that every child is unique and programmes are personalised and relevant to each individual.
The school will support your child to be as independent as they can be, help them to develop socially and personally, and help them to understand their position in the family and in society.
3. How will school work be changed to match my child’s needs?
Wargrave House School is a specialist provider of education and care services for children and young people with autism and associated difficulties. We employ a range of proven specialist approaches such as TEACCH (Training and Education of Autistic and Communication Handicapped Children) to support your child’s needs. TEACCH is a visual support which makes it clear to your child what they need to do, how much/many tasks they have to complete, when it is finished and what they need to do next, as independently as possible. TEACCH provides a physical structure that helps your child know where they are and what is available to them in the learning environment.
Your child’s work will be adapted to their level of understanding. For example, if your child cannot yet read words, objects, photographs and pictures or symbols will be used to help them understand and communicate. Your child will have frequent opportunities to learn and practise skills outside of the classroom so that tasks are more meaningful and purposefully learnt within context.
4. What support will there be for my child’s emotional health and well-being?
Wargrave House employs a registered School Health Nurse who is qualified in learning disabilities. Our nurse and therapists work closely with education and care staff as a ‘team around the child’. In this way we can support your child’s needs holistically, aiming to empower your child and build their confidence and self-esteem. Our focus is on giving your child a voice, helping them to become assertive and as independent as possible in making choices. We will provide them with the tools and strategies they need to support their emotional health and well-being.
5.What specialist services and expertise are available to the school/college?
Staff at Wargrave House have expertise in autism spectrum disorders and difficulties associated with the triad of impairment, social interaction, social communication and flexibility of thought and behaviour. There are senior educational staff qualified to postgraduate degree level in autism and other staff, both in residences and education hold awards in autism studies.
Communication is central to the educational principles and philosophy at Wargrave House School and College. We have a large therapy team, consisting of two full-time and two part-time (0.6) specialist speech and language therapists, and a S< assistant.
We recognise that many young people with autism have needs arising from differences in sensory perception. Wargrave House employs a full time occupational therapist clinically qualified in (Ayres) Sensory Integration techniques. Parents/carers, class staff (and residential staff where appropriate) contribute to the occupational therapists sensory assessment of each young person and provide a personalised sensory diet to support them to access their learning programmes. The school has a specialist sensory facility with suspended equipment such as swings and platforms to support sensory integration treatment and treatment is further extended into the learning environments.
A school health nurse oversees students’ health and well-being and supports parents and carers to access medical services if required. Together with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) he works together with families and medical practitioners to enable as full access to learning as possible.
Meals are of high quality and are served in an autism-friendly environment which carefully considers individual needs. The two kitchens have received the local council 5 Star award for hygiene and the Head Cook supports menu planning, providing advice and guidance on balanced diet. We recognise that at times, mealtimes and food may challenge our young people and their families. Our therapy team works closely together with classroom and care practitioners and kitchen staff to provide individual dietary support programmes where appropriate.
6. What training do staff have who support children with special educational needs and disabilities?
We recognise the value of whole school approaches towards providing consistency and holistic, eclectic strategies are embedded into the curriculum, such as TEACCH, Narrative Therapy and other therapies such as Rebound Therapy. There is a full training programme for staff who manage and implement these strategies. All Wargrave House staff are trained in Team-Teach, a BILD accredited approach to support positive behaviour. There are two Team-Teach trained in-house tutors who provide bespoke training for staff, focusing on proactive as well as reactive strategies of support.
Much value is placed on developing and delivering an annual training plan focused on the special needs of children and young people with autism. This includes training from our in-house specialist therapy team, as well as external speakers and training on an individual basis. New staff also complete a comprehensive autism focused induction package over the first six months of starting with us.
We believe in and promote inclusion both within the school environment and the wider community. As such, the school and college are equipped with five minibuses and a number of staff are trained minibus drivers.
There is also a focus on mandatory training which ensures our services are safe. The Head of Education is the designated Safeguarding Lead, and her Deputy is the designated deputy lead. Senior staff are trained in safer recruitment and there is a focus on keeping children safe in education. A staff Code of Conduct guides staff towards knowing and understanding our expectations of staff behaviour towards keeping all young people safe at Wargrave House. Staff are also trained first aiders and fire marshals and there are clear policies and protocols that support the health and safety of children and young people in our care.
Wargrave House invests in staff development. All residential staff are qualified to (or working towards qualification) at level 3 in Health and Social Care, and Team Leaders and Care Managers are qualified (or working towards qualification) at level 3 and above in Leadership and Management in Social Care.
7. How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
There is a key focus on learning outside the classroom (LOtC) at Wargrave House, which is vital for our students to practice, reinforce and generalise skills and understanding beyond the school environment. We are working towards the LOtC quality standard. We offer a wide variety of educational visits, ranging from shopping to practise functional maths and road safety skills, to theatre, museums and country parks. For each visit you will be required to complete a consent form, on which you will include details of any health conditions for which your child requires medication. Usually trips are free of charge, but we might ask you for a voluntary contribution at times. If this causes you difficulty you may speak in confidence to the Head of Education who will be able to offer support. If your child has specific religious or personal beliefs that we need to take account of please talk to us so that we can fully include your child.
8. How physically accessible is the school/college?
There are designated accessible parking facilities on site and adjustments are in place to facilitate wheelchair access. There are two lifts available for access to first floor settings. A hearing loop is available to support people who have hearing difficulties. Ramps are provided for access to the main building and post-16 areas.
There are designated ‘safe’ areas which may be used for emergency evacuation and visitors are requested to follow staff direction. There is an accessible visitors’ toilet.
9. When my child starts school/college what kinds of support will there be?
Support for your child will commence before they start school. Our Family Liaison Officer, class teacher and therapy staff will visit you at home or invite you into school to talk about your child’s needs and interests and complete admission forms. They will provide your child with a booklet which shows them what they will see when they come to Wargrave House, who is in their class and which staff they will be working with. They will also receive a timetable in a format they can understand, which explains their school day. We will work closely with the education authority’s transport department to ensure we know how they will be coming to school and who with. The school health nurse will gather health and medical information towards their health care plan, which will include details of your child’s GP and other professional involved in the care of your child, as well as medication information where appropriate.
When your child starts school, they will be given a mentor (if appropriate) who will support them in their first few weeks. This will usually be another student in their class.
There is a daily home-school diary in which staff inform you about your child’s day and other information and which you may use to let us know about events or concerns you may have that are important to your child’s care and well-being at school. On your child’s first day, a member of staff will telephone you to let you know how your child has settled. You may, of course, telephone or email to speak to staff at any time, and we will always try to get back to you the same day.
In the first six weeks of a new placement, your child’s class teacher and therapist will assess their needs more specifically and in detail, from educational, communication and sensory perspectives. If your child has a residential place, they will be supported to choose a keyworker and we will work with you to personalise their bedroom. Residential staff will also undertake an assessment of personal care needs. You will be provided with a full report at the end of the six week period, to which we encourage you to contribute.
10. When my child leaves school/college what kinds of support will there be to prepare them for their next school/college placement?
Transition planning begins when your child is in year 9. You will receive independent advice and guidance from a Personal Advisor from Career Connect, appointed by the school. You will also be supported to find out about the placements on offer locally. Wargrave House’s Family Liaison Officer will help you and your child to identify suitable provision. They will also support your dialogue with local authority professionals, including social services.
As your child leaves, Wargrave House will work with the new provider to facilitate their transition. This might include visits to the new provider to access ‘taster’ sessions. We will share important information to help your child achieve a successful transition, such as education reports and strategies that help communication, social interaction and behaviour. We will work in class with your child to help them plan for their transition, such as providing them with a timetable or photographs and a social story of their next stage. Our Family Liaison Officer will keep in touch with you even when your child has left, so that we can support any difficulties may arise for you or your child. We also may contact you on occasion over the next 12 months to 3 years to find out how your child is doing.
11. How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to my child’s special educational needs?
Wargrave House is a specialist school for children and young people diagnosed with autism. LEAP College provides Further Education for 19-25 year olds. We recognise that your child will have some difficulties in social communication, social relationships, self-organisation and imagination , including behaviour. They may also experience sensory differences which impact on their everyday life. All your people at school or college have dedicated support from a specialist speech and language therapist. The young person is continually assessed and formally assessed annually in line with their review. This ongoing assessment informs their individual programme which is reviewed at least termly and changed according to changing needs.
Every child will receive an assessment by an occupational therapist, and parents are requested to contribute towards a sensory assessment. Where relevant, the child is prescribed a sensory diet and this is communicated to staff so that strategies may be incorporated into their individual learning programme.
Your child’s Individual Education Plan will be shared with you each term. Your child is as fully involved in setting their own targets as they can be and is encouraged to self-monitor their progress daily. Their ‘IEP’ outlines the targets your child is working towards, as well as the resources and strategies they will require to achieve success.
12. How is the decision made about how much support my child receives?
Your child is assessed prior to and on entry to the school (the baseline assessment) and an individual plan is drawn up for their education (care and health as appropriate). This assessment identifies the level of support your child will receive to access their learning. If your child’s needs change, we will discuss this with you and the local authority as soon as possible. In some instances this will mean reducing the level of support following assessment of progress and this will be formally documented at a review meeting. At times, your child may need increased support. Where this cannot be met from within the school resources, we will meet with you and the local authority to discuss what is required and/or request additional funding from the authority. If your child requires additional equipment, we will aim to provide this from within school’s resources. Where the equipment is highly specialised, we may contact the authority or relevant health service to obtain advice and/or the specialist items.
13. In what ways are parents involved in the school?
We provide a termly newsletter for parents and you are encouraged to keep up to date with events and information via our Facebook page (Wargrave House School & College) or website (www.wargravehouse.com). On an individual basis, you are encouraged to write daily in your child’s Home-School liaison diary which helps us to support you at home and your child at school.
Our governing body has two parent representatives who are nominated and elected by parents. The governing body is responsible for the day-to-day running of the school. There are 5 committees that make up the governing body and include the Learning & Teaching Committee, the Health, Safety & Premises Committee, the School College Budget and Internal Affairs Committee, an Exclusions Committee and an Appeals Committee. Each Committee meets at least three times per year and the full Governing Body meets once each term. There is a separate Annual General Meeting for Parents at which governors present an overview of the year. If you decide to become a governor, you will also be invited to become a Link governor. As part of this role, you will make at least one visit to school meet with, observe and report to the governing body about specific aspects of education, such as Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, or English and mathematics.
Parents also are invited to support annual events in school, including Harvest, Christmas Carol Concert, End of Year Assembly. We recognise how important it is that families do not feel isolated. Our Family Liaison Officer provides coffee mornings and network opportunities, sometimes with a speaker and sometimes just for a chat with other families. Details can be found in our newsletter.
14. Who can I contact for further information?
If you require further information, please contact our Family Liaison Officer, who will arrange for you to visit school or college to discuss provision or provide you with information to support you, your family and your child. You can contact the Family Liaison Officer on 01925 224899 or email email@example.com.
During out of hours, please leave a message with reception (there are a number of message options from which you can select the most relevant) and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
- Contact Name
- Simon Davies
- Contact Telephone
- 01925 224899
- Contact Email
- Local Offer Age Bands
Young Adults (16 to 25)
Primary (5 to 11)
Secondary (11 to 16)