Welcome to Willow Dene

‘Seeing possibilities, realising dreams’

Willow Dene is a values-based learning community completely focused on building provision around the needs of each child and their family. We are a very happy community and aim to offer our families support to enable children to thrive, and enjoy living and learning.

Willow Dene is the only special school in Greenwich which meets the needs of children aged 2-16.  Our children have a wide range of special educational needs. Our teachers are exceptional practitioners, who work as part of an extensive multi-disciplinary team of specialists to plan learning pathways, that ensure children are given the best opportunities to thrive and become independent.

We are a school of enablement. Our environment is designed to stimulate and support children to build on their curiosity about the world around them, and to communicate their thoughts and feelings. We work in close partnership with families, providing care and support to enable everyone to feel confident and secure.

As a school, we are always learning. We are actively engaged in research-led improvement, which ensures our provision is innovative and cutting edge; providing children with the very best possibilities to realise their dreams.

Willow Dene is a MOVE centre of excellence. This status is awarded to schools operating MOVE to a model standard. They are an exemplar of best practice, and provide long term continuity for the MOVE Programme on a local and national level. MOVE stands for movement in learning and life, the MOVE programme is an activity based practice that develops and teaches the skills of sitting, standing, walking and transitioning between.

Willow Dene has been awarded the National Autistic Society (NAS) Autism Accreditation. This programme provides an autism-specific quality assurance programme by providing a unified standard of excellence, and a systematic framework for continuous self-evaluation and development.

In 2015, Willow Dene opened Toucan, which provides specialist provision for two year olds. Toucan offers high quality early years provision for children with complex needs. In September 2015, Willow Dene’s upper age range extended to include provision for children aged 11-16, giving us the opportunity to implement exciting key stage 3 and 4 curriculum models, bespoke transitions and to shape provision which supports our children as they grow. Willow Dene Oakmere Road opened in September 2016 and Willow Dene now operates over two sites which are closely located in our local community. Toucan and our children in Key Stage 1 and 2 continue to be based at Swingate Lane. Children in Key Stage 3 and 4 are based at the newly refurbished Oakmere Road site which provides a high quality learning environment for our older children, building  on the enabling environments at Swingate Lane, whilst extending experiences and realising new possibilities.

We are part of The Compass Partnership of Schools, an innovative and forward-thinking group of schools comprising of Alderwood, Deansfield, Halstow, Horn Park, South Rise, Willow Dene and Wingfield.  In July 2017, we converted to multi-academy trust status, further strengthening and securing our unique partnership. The partnership offers immense opportunities to develop the quality of provision, sharing of good practice and professional growth.

Watch our story: A Willow Dene Documentary