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About Us

Mapledown School ( Ofsted "Good") is the London Borough of Barnet’s Secondary School for students with Severe and Complex Learning Difficulties. Our students have a very diverse level and range of needs and our aim is to work together with all stakeholders to meet those needs and promote learning.

We currently have 91 students on roll across eleven class groups. Each class team has one teacher with three to five Learning Support Assistants. These class groups are located in ‘Learning Zones’. There are three classrooms in Zone One which support students with Severe Learning Disabilities; Zone Two’s five classes cater for students on the Autistic Spectrum and Zone Three is focused on students who have Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities (three classes).

The school has a full-time Nurse and a nurse assistant, and students have access to an integrated service offered through Speech and Language Therapy, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Music Therapy, Paediatricians, Dietician, Social Services and specialist peripatetic teachers as required (e.g. Visual or Hearing Impairment). The school is a registered ‘Regional Training Centre’ for the MOVE Programme – this is a school wide system for assessing and promoting physical independence skills. Mapledown is located near a mainstream secondary school and some of our students attend integrated lessons there or use their school facilities – e.g. technology room, sports hall, library etc.

We have a range of facilities, such as a ‘Sensory Studio’, a Library, a Life Skills Room, a Soft Play Cabin, a Multigym and a Hydrotherapy Pool. Our school grounds are ‘zoned’ so that all students can enjoy the outdoors safely – we have a grassy area for ball games, a 175-metre bike/trike circuit and a fenced in flat surface space for students who use walking frames or wheelchairs. Most students use all three areas as they want. Both our Pool and main school hall have computerized Light and Sound Systems. Our PTA runs five Minibuses which are used daily to support learning activities – e.g. Swimming, College Links, Work Experience, Day Trips, etc. Every classroom has a mobile touch screen and extensive use is made of ICT to promote learning. The school employs one of its staff to act as a ‘Regional Tutor’ for Makaton Signing. We are a Total Communication environment and use signs and symbols (such as PECS) with our students. Staff are trained to use PECS and Makaton. We are developing the use of PODD (Pragmatic Organisational Dynamic Display, which is a communication system) throughout the school. All staff are accredited in the TEAM-TEACH approach to managing behaviour that challenges positively. This is a whole school approach that ranges from understanding behaviour and de-escalation techniques to safely intervening if physical intervention is required as a last resort. Three of our staff are trainers.

The school is organized into two Departments – Key Stage Three and Post Fourteen and we deliver a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum based around the National Curriculum. Each pupil is assessed regularly, and progress is monitored and evaluated through Key Personal Leaning Targets. The school maintains daily contact with parents and carers through a system of Home –School Diaries. We hold Coffee Mornings every half term for parents and carers to come into school. A number of our students regularly use the overnight respite facilities offered by Social Services and where this is the case, we maintain the same level of links as with the home.

All pupil progress is reported at Annual Reviews of Education, Health and Care plans. Parents and carers can call the headteacher directly and the school maintains an open door policy.

The school holds awards from ‘Artsmark - Gold’, ‘Sportsmark’, ‘National Healthy Schools’,  ‘International School Award’, ‘Food for Life (Bronze & Silver)’ ‘CPD Mark, The Leading Parent Partnership Award’ and the SSAT Inclusion Award. In our last Ofsted 2018 inspection report, we were graded 'good' with some 'outstanding' features. We became a Specialist SEN School (Cognition and Learning) in September 2008 and a National Support School in May 2009.