Ysgol Maes Hyfryd opened in September 2009 following the amalgamation of the special school provision in Flintshire. From three all-age special schools, two of which supported SLD and PMLD learners and one MLD provision, the authority developed one primary special school and one secondary special school both located in Flint. YMH has been purpose built and co-located with Flint High School. YMH also manages a resource base provision at the Elfed High School, some 6 miles away in the town of Buckley. However this provision is being phased out and its planned date of closure is summer 2018. As a result we have currently only 3 leaners as part of that resource provision. The provision is managed by senior management of the mainstream school with input from Maes Hyfryd.
Ysgol Maes Hyfryd now provides secondary specialist education for all learners that have been educated at the primary feeder school, Ysgol Pen Coch. In addition to this the school receives out of county placement requests during the year as well as mainstream referrals. Admissions remain through the local authority but Maes Hyfryd challenge and support any additional requests with the Local Authority. As a result, the Local Authority and Maes Hyfryd work well in ensuring the school caters for learners with the most complex needs across the authority.
Sensory Dept (Yrs 7 – 19)
The sensory department caters for pupils with severe and profound learning difficulties (SLD / PMLD) who have additional associated difficulties, including autism, challenging behaviour, sensory impairment, complex health needs and communication difficulties. Placement in the sensory department is decided during the transition process. Pupils in the sensory department follow a personalised skill based curriculum which strives to be responsive to each learner, building on their individual strengths and interests. Our curriculum is skill and context based and encourages active engagement in learning. The curriculum focuses on developing the key skills of communication, cognition, independence, physical development and self-care, all transferrable skills that equip children and young people for life beyond the school. The curriculum is delivered through a thematic approach to provide a range of stimulating learning experiences and generalisation of skills. There are two core curricular pathways which pupils undertake, depending on their learning needs. Pupils with profound learning difficulties follow and ‘informal’ curriculum pathway and those with severe learning difficulties follow a ‘semi formal’ pathway.
There are currently three main classes in the sensory department (S1 – S3). Each class provides discrete provision based on the needs of the pupils. S1 broadly caters for pupils with profound intellectual and multiple difficulties (PIMD), including those with autism. S2 caters for pupils with severe learning difficulties, complex communication and autism and S3 is a discrete class for pupils with PMLD. Historically, YMH had a large cohort of pupils with moderate learning difficulties. However, due to a changing population of pupils in the school and increase in those with SLD and PMLD, there are now two additional classes which also follow the sensory curriculum. One of these classes is based in the Key Stage 3 department, catering for pupils with SLD and autism. The other class is based in the Post 16 department and caters for pupils with PIMD and SLD.
Key Stage 3 dept (Yrs 7-9)
There are currently 4 classes (L1-L4) at Key Stage 3, L1 for our new year 7's, L2 is our ASD provision and we have L3 and L4. Generally, pupils fit into the category of Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD).
English, Maths, R.E, Science and Personal and Social Education are taught in the mornings and National Curriculum subjects have been combined to create new thematic schemes of work, these are: Culture, Humanities, Technology and are taught to each of the classes and the curriculum content is used as the vehicle to develop the students skills in literacy, numeracy and ICT as outlined in pupils Individual Education Plans.
Key stage 4 dept (Yrs 10 and 11)
There are currently 2 classes (H1-H2) this current school year in the department. In KS4 the Students follow a differentiated curriculum encompassing the Entry Pathways qualification. KS4 students have access to one Option afternoon a week. The afternoon is PE/Sports and Arts based. The department is primarily made up of pupils with more moderate learning difficulties (MLD) and Behavioural and Emotional Social Difficulties (BESD) and now has a Year 10 class of learners with severe learning difficulties.
Post 16 – 6th Form (Yrs 12-14)
Key Stage 5 is comprised of 3 classes of students ranging from Year 12 to Year 14 (H3 to H5)
The department focuses on developing independence and promoting functional literacy and numeracy skills. The students follow a varied programme which aims to prepare the young people for life beyond school. As part of the transition process, classes access local college provision 1 day a week. College link courses are planned on an individualised basis. Our H3 class this year will be following a semi formal curriculum in line with our Sensory Department.
PSE and careers planning is an integral part of the curriculum and students follow individualised work experience, volunteering, and transport training programmes. Student achievement is accredited through ASDAN Personal Progress, PSD and Employability qualifications. Curriculum enrichment is provided through a range of termly options. Students can develop their own learning pathway by making choices of options 3 afternoons a week. The options change termly to cover the 6 areas of learning from the Curriculum for Wales. Students have the opportunity to work towards the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and the environmental John Muir award scheme.