School Life

HARP Hendon Autism Resourced Provision

HARP Prospectus 2020 

Watch, and re-watch the HARP video to gain useful information from staff and students.

HARP opened in September 2008 as Barnet’s first resourced provision to support students with Autism Spectrum Conditions in a mainstream secondary school.   We aim to give all our students the level of scaffolding and support they need to allow them to access mainstream classes and to be involved in the social aspects of school. Our students have individual timetables and they study within HARP and in their mainstream classes in the appropriate ratio, according to assessed personal, social and educational need. For some students it may be appropriate to study one or more academic subjects in HARP in order to receive individually tailored curriculum content or delivery. 

In HARP we provide speech and language therapy, some occupational therapy, social skills groups and pre- and post-tutoring.  We also offer ‘catch up ‘time and support to students who find it difficult to complete homework at home. The HARP curriculum comprises Personal, Moral Development and Social Understanding.

Within the Harp-based Personal Social and Relationships curriculum, all students are also encouraged to explore their own strengths and interests within the context of studying Autism and the achievements of others with an ASC disorder, both historical and contemporary.

The adage goes: When you have met one person with Autism, you have met one person with Autism; everyone with an ASC is, of course, different and manifests the common features they share variously. In HARP we see it as crucial to understand the nature of each student’s strengths, interests and difficulties and the impact of these on the individual’s functioning and interactions with the world; we aim to bridge the divide between the perceptions, motivation and experiences of our students and the demands of school and wider society.   

Each student has an Individual Education Plan (IEP), agreed with parents/carers and the student him/herself outlining how we plan to meet his/her emotional, social and educational needs and attain the outcomes as described in their Educational Care and Health Plan statement of Special Educational Needs and Disability.

We undertake to:

  • Tailor each student’s learning package to meet his or her individual educational, emotional and social needs.

  • Develop an Autism friendly environment, providing structure to make HARP a predictable and safe place, to reduce levels of  anxiety.

  • Support students to develop social understanding

  • Help students to develop a positive and realistic self-image, self-esteem, independence, confidence and resilience to cope in a neurotypical world.

  • Help students to gain understanding of people and how they think, feel and operate; to form positive relationships with others

  • Develop  - via staff training – Autism friendly teaching and interactions throughout the school

  • Develop positive relationships with parents, carers and other professionals

  • Offer to each individual ‘the best of both worlds’: a balance between inclusive education and separate, individualised Autism- specific teaching

  • Focus and build on the positive actions, interactions, interests and achievements of our students

  • Give specific and detailed feedback and praise to ensure individuals fully understand expectations and the effect of their behaviour on other people


Peer supporters

Volunteers from the classes in which there are HARP students receive both Childline Training and Autism specific training so that they understand our students’ perceptions, strengths and difficulties and are able to support them socially and in class. Following their initial training, they receive regular group meetings for ongoing training and support the Peer supporters become close and committed allies and friends with whom to explore conventions and to enjoy school life.


Partnership with Parents

Parents and carers are encouraged to be actively involved in HARP and the education of their sons and daughters. In addition to formal meetings, we have an open door policy and regular and   frequent contact is maintained via the telephone, email and Home-School books to exchange information and ideas and to gain a thorough understanding of the individual’s experiences and perceptions.


Transition and Induction

All students joining HARP will be invited to visit and spend time with us during Year 6, accompanied by a familiar adult, so that they feel secure and comfortable at Hendon prior to Transition Day when they meet their new form group and friends. Students are given a Transition Book with information and photographs and they are invited to personalise their books with their own photographs and comments gleaned on visits. Care is taken to ensure that HARP students are placed with named friends from their Primary School where possible and with Form Tutors with an interest and expertise in Autism. Close contact between HARP staff and Primary schools and prior communication with parents ensure we have relevant information and a smooth transition.