Mapledown School is the London Borough of Barnet’s Secondary School for pupils with Severe and Complex Learning Disabilities. Our pupils 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 72 pupils on role situated in eleven class groups. Each class team has one teacher with three or four Learning Support Assistants. These class groups are located in ‘Learning Zones’. There are two classrooms in Zone One which support pupils with Severe Learning Disabilities; Zone Two’s four classes cater for pupils on the Autistic Spectrum and Zone Three is focused on pupils who have Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities (five classes).
The school has a full time Nurse and Physiotherapist and pupils have access to an integrated service offered through Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Music Therapy, Peadiatric Doctors, Dietician, Social Services and specialist peripatetic teachers as required (eg Visual or Hearing Impairment). The school is a registered ‘Regional Training Centre’ for the M.O.V.E Programme – this is a school wide system for assessing and promoting physical independence skills. Mapledown is located next door to a ‘mainstream’ secondary school and some of our pupils attend integrated lessons there or use their school facilities – eg technology room, sports hall, library etc.
In terms of facilities we have a ‘Sensory Studio’, Pupils’ Library, Home Economics Room, Soft Play Cabin, MultiGym and Hydrotherapy Pool. Our school grounds are ‘zoned’ so that all pupils 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 pupils who use walking frames or wheelchairs. Most pupils use all three areas at will. 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. – eg Swimming, College Links, Work Experience, Day Trips, etc. Every classroom has an internet linked Interactive Whiteboard and extensive use is made of ICT to promote learning. The school employs one of its Learning Support Assistants to act as a ‘Regional Tutor’ for Makaton Signing and we routinely use PECS with pupils for whom it is deemed useful. Staff are trained to use PECS and Makaton. All staff are accredited in the TEAM-TEACH approach to managing behaviour. This is a whole school approach that ranges from understanding behaviour and de-escalation techniques to safely intervening if physical restraint is required. Two of our staff are used as Trainers to teach staff in other Barnet Schools.
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 using ‘P Scales’ 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 and we hold Coffee Mornings every half term for Parents to come into school. A number of our pupils 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. Parents can call the head directly and the school maintains an open door policy.
The school holds awards from ‘Artsmark - Gold’, ‘Sportsmark’, ‘Investors in People – Bronze Award’, ‘National Healthy Schools’ ‘Investors in Excellence’, ICT Mark, ‘International School Award’ , Leading Aspect Award’, ‘Basic Skills Mark’, ‘Food for Life (Bronze & Silver)’ ‘CPD Mark’, ‘Great Small Places to Work Award’ (2010 & 2011), The Leading Parent Partnership Award’ and the SSAT Inclusion Award. In our last two Ofsted inspections (2005 & 2008) the school achieved an ‘outstanding’ grade and in 2013 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.