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SEN climbers at White Spider

We firmly believe that climbing should be open to everyone – whatever their abilities or needs. Our SEN programme has been developed to ensure that no one is left out! 


"My son has autism, and our instructor had encountered him before during a session where he had become distressed. The instructor was professional and kind at the time and was very welcoming to my son for the second try! He was excellent, a really good teacher who was kind, patient and encouraging." 

     – Feedback from a parent 


Why climbing?

Climbing itself is an incredibly rewarding sport, and the best part is anybody can do it! Climbing is an entirely personal experience, and our sessions can look to improve;

– trust and communication,


– problem solving and concentration,

– coordination,

– goal setting and achieving,

– fitness. 


Those with learning difficulties can see gains in all of these, and more than that – climbing can lead to new friendships, increased self-esteem and even help your fine-motor skills!

In terms of instruction, we have a wide range of instructors who have been specifically trained for our SEN Sessions, and many who come from SEN backgrounds and can offer a wealth of experience – allowing the participants to get the most out of their time here. We also don’t charge extra for our SEN Sessions, you will find our prices match those for our regular sessions – allowing you to have peace of mind that you are getting the best deal. 



What sessions do you offer?

We can offer a range of sessions for SEN climbers, from Private Lessons, to small groups and big charity sessions. Any lesson we offer will be taught by experienced instructors, and will last for 1 hour.


1 Off sessions: You can arrange to have a 1 off session, which we can tailor to your needs. Most 1 off sessions will act as a taster, but you can request an instructor and book session on an ad hoc basis too. There are no set times, just give us a call at reception to book. You will need to give a brief description of the participant’s needs, so as to give the instructor a good idea of how to run the session.


6 Week programme:  We also offer the opportunity to book a unique 6 week progressive programme. This includes a visual timetable, and personal progression sheet specifically designed for individuals with learning difficulties. The benefit of the 6 week programme is that there is slightly more structure to the sessions, with the benefit of being able to build a relationship with a regular instructor. This is just the cost of 6x single sessions. You can either book these up as a 1:1 or a group lesson. (see below for more info. on pricing, and how to book a group).


Please note parents/carers must always be present in the centre during sessions



How many instructors do I need?

This entirely depends on the complexity of the individual’s needs. We offer sessions in the following ratios:


1:1 for high complexity needs

1:2 for medium complexity needs (see below for info. On booking group lessons)

1:4 for low complexity needs (see below for info. On booking group lessons)


In case you’re wondering, we don’t offer a 1:3 ratio – because climbers have to go in pairs.

Please note parents/carers must always be present in the centre during sessions.


If the individual is of an extremely low complexity/attends mainstream school then it may be possible to include them in regular sessions but this is something that should always be discussed first. This is so we can make sure the best possible experience is had by all.



How do I know which complexity to book under?

Low complexity (1:4):

Individual can happily work with others and has a fairly high level of concentration. They can take instruction quite easily, and remember rules and follow/respect them. Individual will be able to learn new skills given time and practice. They will only rarely suffer from behavioural problems, but when they do they will remember to abide by the rules during these times. Parents/teachers will describe them as low complexity and find the 1:4 ratio appropriate.


Medium complexity (1:2):

Individual can work with others but can show difficulty in bigger groups. They find it harder to concentrate but can follow rules when helped to understand them. They take in new information when given in small but clear doses. They may sometimes show behavioural problems, but will still remember the rules during these times. Parents/teachers will describe them as medium complexity and find the 1:2 ratio appropriate.


High Complexity (1:1):

Individual does not cope well in groups but works better when all attention is focused on them. They may find it hard to concentrate and often stray off course without constant supervision. They may have behavioural problems, and will need somebody to remind them of the rules during these times. All instruction has to be gone over more than once, and they can find it hard to focus on one activity for an extended period of time. Parents/teachers will describe them as high complexity and find the 1:1 ratio appropriate.

This is just a rough guide, and if you are still unsure what ratio to book under, an email or a phone call to reception for a discussion may help.



What if I want to join a group?

The SEN Sessions naturally don’t run in the same way a regular taster or private lesson would, as the needs of each child are so different.


You can form your own groups with friends and book up a session that way.

If you don’t know anybody else who wants to get involved then we offer a social platform that allows you to meet other SEN climbers and parents, in order to form groups that suit you.

This works by putting up an initial post as to your needs and availability, and what session you would like to book. Anybody with similar needs can contact you via Facebook.

You can find this group on Facebook at:



How much does it cost?

1 to 1 session – £40 (2:2 – £80, 4:4 £160 etc.)

1 instructor : 2 participants – £60 (2:4 -£120, 3:6 £180 etc.)

1 instructor : 4 participants – £90 (2:8 – £180, 3:12 £270 etc.)


Please refer to our complexity guide to see which session would be most appropriate for you. 



Where we are
Google Map of 51.372456,-0.291

White Spider Climbing
225 Hook Rise South
Surbiton, KT6 7LD
Just off the A3/A240 at Tolworth Junction.

Mon           2pm - 10pm
Tues – Fri           10am - 10pm
Sat – Sun        10am - 7.30pm
Bank Holidays 10am - 7.30pm

Save time - preregister!

Book online now!

Red Spider - Fareham

Climbing on the South coast, love bouldering?

Then check out our sister wall, Red Spider, an awesome, spacious, dedicated boulder wall just off the M27 J11 between Portsmouth and Southampton.

And if you are a member at White Spider - then climbing is included free in your membership

So check out the great programs and reviews at Red Spider and Facebook and try some of the best bouldering on the South coast

Also a huge kids castle, separate from the climbing wall and with its own cafe.

We hope to see you there, cheers the Red Spider Team