A school for children with special needs has been recognised for developing international links that “enrich” the learning of its students.

Mapledown School, which caters for children aged 11 to 19 who suffer from severe and complex learning disabilities, received the International School Award (ISA), after taking part in a range of global projects.

It is the second time that the school, in Claremont Road, has won the three-year accreditation, having first received an ISA in 2009.

Teachers embrace new technology such as Skype and FaceTime during lessons, to set up live cross-continental chats with students and teachers from similar schools around the world.

Mapledown is also actively involved with worldwide charities and pupils have previously raised money by selling eggs from the school’s chicken coup.

Money raised was put towards a project that buys animals for farmers in Africa, and contributed to the Teach A Man To Fish scheme.

The school’s outreach co-ordinator, Anjana Shah, said: “Many of our children here will never be able to live independently – let alone travel abroad – so we think it is important to bring different cultures into their classroom.

“Building up international relations enriches the students’ learning, and teaches them to respect a range of different values and global issues.”

The ISA panel congratulated the school on its “impressive range of work”, describing it as “a credit to the wider community”.

The school is now continuing to expand its intercultural ties, and will soon be partnered with three more schools around Europe.

Students also look forward to visits from its new international friends in October next year.