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Mapledown School Curriculum


Mapledown is dedicated to providing a rich, deep and demanding curriculum at levels appropriate to the developmental understanding of our students. It is the outcome of ongoing work at Mapledown, as the school has evolved over the years and is now catering for young people in Barnet with a wider range of needs. In 2018, Mapledown was inspected by Ofsted. The outcome from the inspection, and a new leadership team, encouraged the school to further examine and completely update the curriculum that is offered. Senior leaders responded to feedback from teachers and support staff who expressed frustration at the continued pressure to follow timetables when key learning opportunities were missed due to an outdated curriculum which had too much emphasis on subject specific planning.  A revision of our curriculum offer was identified as an important school improvement project. Our aim as staff is to create highly personalised learning programmes so that pupils can excel, and as leaders and school staff, to keep the curriculum under constant review so that it continues to meet the needs of all pupils. 

Ongoing and recent research has offered special educators new and incredibly helpful insights from neuroscience for example, which we now need to feed into our school improvement planning. The 21st Century has also brought us new technologies, particularly in relation to assistive and augmentative communication, allowing practitioners to address particular barriers to learning, and unlock potential. These developments needed to be recognised in our educational offer, as well as the need to ensure our curriculum offered flexibility to cater for pupils with varied learning needs and learning styles, and captured the fun and enjoyment that should be seen within teaching and learning. Other challenges are also confronting us. For example, we are starting to see the impact of climate change, and therefore there is a more visible need for schools to promote sustainability. In addition, attitudes and values around Special Education (as well as education itself) have been changing. We recognise that more personalised approaches are beneficial for individual success, and must take into account the local context, within our local community.

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As our learners move through the school, they are offered more vocationally based opportunities, with an emphasis on Work Related Learning, access to Enterprise opportunities and links with local colleges and the local community. Alongside this, communication, functional literacy, numeracy and computing skills continue to be taught.

Please see our Curriculum Rationale for further information

For any other information please do not hesitate to contact the school.

Sandra Chaaya                         

020 8455 4111