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Welcome from our Head Teacher

It is my pleasure to welcome you to Willow Dene.

Willow Dene is an outstanding special school for children and young people with a range of Special Educational Needs aged 2-19, primarily from the Royal Borough of Greenwich.  Since 2011, we have been constantly growing and evolving to better meet the needs of our children, young people and their families, and the most recent part of our journey been the addition of sixth form which opened in September 2023.  Willow Dene consists of Toucan Specialist Provision for 2 Year Olds, Willow Dene Swingate Lane for our primary aged children, Willow Dene Oakmere Road for our secondary aged children and Willow Dene Sixth Form, based in our new building at Oakmere Road, for our young people.  We are lucky to be located near to leafy green spaces and at the heart of our local communities.

We are very happy and proud that Ofsted have recognised the achievements of our children, the dedication and skill of our staff team and the ethos of support and teamwork within our school. 

Our Ofsted report from the November 2022 visit says that:

"Pupils thrive and excel at this exceptional school. Leaders and staff have very high expectations for all pupils. They work hard to make sure that learning is fun and that lessons capture the interests of pupils."

We are looking forward to continuing to grow and develop together to positively affect the futures of children with special educational needs at Willow Dene and beyond.

We aim to provide the highest possible quality of education for our children and young people. This begins with the positive relationships that all our staff team build with children, young people and families.  We know that our children and young people learn best when they are happy and settled in school.  We constantly talk to our parents and families so that they are fully included in their child or young person's school experience.  Our highly skilled teachers and support staff ensure that our child-centred provision considers every aspect of the child or young person's day.  Our curriculum, bespoke assessment and well-matched resourcing are all designed specifically for our children, making sure that we are always aspirational for their learning and futures.

We are always moving forward, seeking new ways to develop what we do.  At Willow Dene, research and innovation are always evident.  This is supported by high quality collaborative working within school and beyond.  Our relationships with therapists and other health professionals, national organisations and many others is one of mutual support and benefit to our children and young people.  We are a MOVE Centre of Excellence and a National Autistic Society Accredited setting with Advanced Status.

Our school was designed with our children and young people in mind.  You will see this from the buildings themselves, specialist learning environments such as our swimming pool and sensory garden, the way that classrooms are furnished and resourced and how we meet the needs of individuals, with specialist equipment.

We aim for all our children and young people to become valued and valuable members of society. We are constantly looking for engaging, rich opportunities within our local community and beyond so that all children and young people have experiences which link them to their wider world.

We are very proud of our school. Willow Dene is an exciting place to be and we hope you get a sense of this from our website.  We recommend looking at our Willow Dene Tours, Documentary, and Instagram and Twitter feeds. Our doors are always open, both to parents and professionals.  We enjoy sharing what we do. Please do visit in person if you would like to know more. 

Rachel Harrison

Executive Head Teacher