Birtenshaw School provides the best physical environment for the special education needs of pupils.

Our bespoke new school, opened in 2012, with specialist facilities, provides a spacious, calm and safe environment in which young people can thrive and learn.

Such facilities fully support our creative learning curriculum and a “Total Communication” approach to education for children who do not use much, if any, spoken language (such children are often referred to an non-verbal). We utilise various communications systems: sign along, PECS, Makaton and so on. The total communication approach is led by our Speech and Language Therapists

Classrooms are equipped with state-of-the-art education technology such as interactive touch screens and iPads which you would expect to find in any modern school.

Many of our specialist facilities support the sensory diet requirements of pupils (created by our full time occupational therapist), that is, sight, sound, touch and smell to develop their senses, co-ordination and communication, promoting interaction, concentration, calmness and confidence.



Sensory Integration Room

…specifically designed to stimulate and support the children’s sensory needs and motor skills. The young people can use the equipment to manage their own arousal levels


Multisensory light room

…provides a constantly changing environment promoting visual development and hand/eye co-ordination. It is designed to be calming and allows the young people to take sensory breaks.


Hydrotherapy Pool (with multisensory interactive sound and light system)

…used for exercise, relaxation, fun and therapy. The combination of extra heat and buoyancy relaxes muscles and reduces pressure on joints.


Soft play area

… provides both a safe area for the young people to use up extra energy and a stimulating environment for play. The balls massage the entire body, provide buoyant support, deep-pressure sensation and encourage relaxation


Multi-use sports hall

…provides a large space for a variety of activities, games and therapy, this environment provides an area for the young people to interact with their peers.

Adapted play equipment

…the garden areas are perfect for sensory breaks and PE lessons. With the support of staff, the young people have the option to interact with their classmates as well as stay fit.


Life skills room

…pupils are supported to develop independent living skills including cooking in a home style setting, cleaning and washing up.

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In addition, we provide outdoor learning areas attached to each classroom. There are a number of play spaces around the school which also contain a horticultural and sensory garden.