Facilities

Birtenshaw School Bolton provides the best physical environment for the special educational needs of pupils. The school, opened in 2012, provides a spacious, calm and safe environment in which children and young people can thrive and learn. Such facilities fully support our bespoke, creative curriculum and a “Total Communication” approach to the education of children and young people. Most pupils have speech, language, communication difficulties and some have very little, if any, spoken language; often referred to as ‘non-verbal’. We utilise various communications systems: signalong, PECS, Go Talks and so on. The Total Communication approach is led by our Speech and Language Therapists and supported by a communication assistant present across the school.

Classrooms are equipped with interactive touch screens and iPads which are used to support learning, engage pupils and provide an additional communication system in lessons. Many of our specialist facilities support the sensory diet requirements of pupils which are implemented by a full time occupational therapist. Visual, auditory, touch, smell, vestibular (movement) and proprioceptive (body awareness) sensory needs are supported by the environment and facilities to develop pupils co-ordination and communication, promote interaction, concentration, calmness and confidence.

Sensory Integration Room…

…also known as the “swing room” is specifically designed to stimulate and support pupil’s sensory needs and motor skills. The equipment is used to support pupils to manage their own arousal levels as well as providing a safe and engaging space for sensory assessments and activities with the occupational therapist to take place.

Multisensory Light Room…

…also known as the “dark room” provides a constantly changing environment promoting visual development and hand/eye co-ordination. It is designed to be calming and allows pupils to take sensory breaks. It is also used for group therapy sessions lead by the occupational therapist and speech and language therapist. There are two multisensory light rooms at Birtenshaw School Bolton.

Hydro Pool (with multisensory interactive sound and light system)…

…used for exercise, relaxation, fun and therapy. The lights and music provide sensory regulation for individuals and the combination of warm water (35 degrees) and buoyancy relaxes muscles and reduces pressure on joints.

Soft play area…

…also known as the “ball pool” 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. It is also provides a safe environment for pupils to develop social skills by initiating and enjoying play.

Multi-use sports hall…

…provides a large space for a variety of activities, games and therapy, this environment provides an area for pupils to interact with their peers. It is also used at lunch time as a space for pupils to eat a healthy meal and interact with their peers.

Life skills…

…is designed to represent a self-contained flat with a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, lounge and dining area. Pupils are supported to develop independent living skills including cooking in a home style setting, cleaning, making a bed and washing up. Life skills is accessible to all and adaptive equipment ensures that pupils are prepared for adulthood and supported to be as independent as possible. We currently offer Level 1 and Level 2 Cooking Skills BTEC as part of the curriculum.

External spaces…

…are designed to provide a safe place for pupils to develop friendships and socially interact with their peers. The equipment was chosen by pupils alongside the occupational therapists to ensure that the space meets pupil’s physical and sensory needs.

AWARDS