Ysgol Y Deri – More than just a school

Ysgol Y Deri is a school that prides itself on catering for a wide and diverse range of differently abled pupils. The school environment is positive, warm and welcoming, with a fantastic range of facilities and a staff team with a 'can do' attitude.

Staff at Ysgol Y Deri work with every child as an individual ensuring that their educational and therapeutic needs are met so that they can flourish both within the school and beyond. 

The school vision is simple: "Potential, Opportunity, Achievement"


The therapy team working within the school work within the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, part of NHS Wales. The 4-strong physiotherapy team has extensive experience in working with a diverse range of pupils with varying physical needs. The team at Ysgol Y Deri work alongside the class teams to plan and deliver programmes to promote each pupils’ physical potential, through methods including hands-on therapy, bespoke therapy programmes, hydrotherapy, rebound therapy, orthotics, mobility and postural management equipment provision. Therapy is pupil-centred, with input being based on the needs and goals of the individual pupil.


Ysgol Y Deri was the first school in Wales to introduce the Innowalk Pro to their therapy toolbox in 2021. Innowalk Pro is a robotic rehabilitation device offering supported dynamic standing for pupils with complex physical disability. The school initially trialled the equipment for 6 weeks using both the small and large sizes, with pupils across the whole school. The children included in the trial period were all wheelchair users with limited independent movement. The trial was highly successful and Innowalk Pro has now become an integrated part of the school physiotherapy service, offering pupils with more profound and complex needs the opportunity to access physical activity safely along with all the incredible physiological and mental health benefits that come with it.


The Ysgol Y Deri team are pleased to report that Innowalk Pro is a safe and effective device to use in the school setting, and it can provide pupils with more complex needs access to physical activity. The therapy team discovered improved outcomes in the pupils’ range of movement, muscle tone, mood and alertness and motivation to attend physiotherapy! They also found increased success with floor-based rehab and bench sitting immediately following an Innowalk session, and found that pupils were easier to move and reposition after their time in the Innowalk.

Families of the pupils at Ysgol Y Deri also have found that the benefits of Innowalk Pro sessions continue at home, reporting improvements in mood, alertness, sleep, bowel movements and general wellbeing.


Feature Image: Ysgol Y Deri©.


See also video on BBC: Disability: Machine lets wheelchair users experience walking.


About Ysgol Y Deri

Ysgol Y Deri is a special school maintained by the Vale of Glamorgan local authority. The school opened in November 2014, and shares a site and facilities with a mainstream secondary school.

Number of pupils:
The school has approximately 370 pupils aged between 3 and 19 years old. All pupils have statements of special educational needs for severe learning difficulties, profound and multiple learning difficulties, moderate learning difficulties or autistic spectrum disorders.

Ysgol Y Deri is located in Penarth, in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales. The school takes pupils from the Vale of Glamorgan as well as from the neighbouring local authorities of Cardiff, Newport, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Swansea.

Pupils at Ysgol Y Deri have also expressed their feelings about the Innowalk Pro:

“I prefer this to my standing frame”
“I like the way my legs move”
“My legs feel loose”
“Makes me feel so much better”
“Makes me feel like I am walking”
“I feel 11 out of 10!”