New provision for Islington
The Courtyard, St Mary Magdalene Academy, will be a unique education facility for Islington, providing personalised education for a total of 36 students from 14-18 with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Speech Language and Communication Needs (SLCN). It will be family friendly and provide drop-in facilities for parents/carers.
Designed to meet the needs of those who wish to be educated in mainstream rather than special schools, it will be housed in a purpose built facility (subject to planning permission) in St Mary Magdalene Gardens, and will be part of St Mary Magdalene Academy. Students will also have access to the Liverpool Road building for lunch, assemblies, family time and where appropriate some lessons.
Within the Borough of Islington there is a demonstrated need for this educational approach at KS 4. At this level, when the curriculum becomes more challenging, it frequently cannot be differentiated to meet the learning need of students with autism and therefore excludes them.
The Courtyard offers an alternative. Students in Year 9 can name The Courtyard as their chosen provision for Key Stage 4 and/or Key Stage 5 and can stay for two years or four years. We would expect the most able to use The Courtyard as a preparation for Higher Education, others will achieve by managing to establish themselves in a secure and caring workforce.
The aspiration for students is simple: they will leave equipped with the skills to be able to live and work independently.
The Courtyard is initiated by St Mary Magdalene Academy with the full support of:
> London Diocesan Board For Schools – sponsor of the Academy
> London Borough of Islington – host authority and Courtyard partner
> The Bridge School – an all-age special school specialising in education for those with severe communication and interaction difficulties
Philosophy and curriculum
Click the images below for architect’s impressions of the proposed buildings