Birtenshaw School Merseyside is an independent special school offering education for children aged 3-19 who have an EHCP (Education Health Care Plan), for pupils with significant physical impairment, complex health needs, learning disability and / or Autistic Spectrum Conditions.
Our dynamic and passionate staff are committed to the Birtenshaw vision of ‘Transforming Lives’. We ensure that pupils receive the same learning and social opportunities as other pupils; which we achieve by providing facilities which are second to none and a creative curriculum tailored to meet their needs.
With dedicated staff, a unique approach and purpose built facilities: we provide a supportive, safe and happy environment; where all young people receive the support they need.
The physical environment is of vital consideration when setting the climate for learning. The building is airy and spacious and provides a calm and safe environment in which pupils can thrive. Adopting a “Total Communication” approach means that we view all behaviour as communication, assessing the function of the behaviour and supporting pupils to communicate more effectively, leading to lower anxiety and improved relationships.
The development of communication is a strong focus of the school and supporting children with speech, language and communication needs is key. There are Speech and Language therapists on site who provide one to one support, group sessions and support staff and parents with strategies to enhance communication through the use of signing, PECS, and other assistive and augmentative communication methods.
For pupils with English as an additional language, the focus on the development of communication skills which is embedded across the school helps them to acquire language and communication skills and remove barriers to learning.
Interpreters are brought in as required to support parents in meetings and progress discussions.
The extensive facilities include: a sensory soft play room, multi-sensory room with immersive technology, sensory integration room, rebound therapy room and a 25 metre hydrotherapy pool with multi-sensory sound and light system.
Class sizes are small, on average 8 to 10 pupils. The class will be led by a suitably qualified teacher with experience of meeting the complex needs of our pupils, who is supported by a dedicated team of staff in order to maintain routines and consistent approaches. Learning support assistants are deployed as appropriate in line with the level of need of pupils.
The first Ofsted inspection took place only seven weeks after the school admitted its first pupils week commencing 12 November 2018. Twenty three children and a brand new staff team came together for the first time during the first week of September 2018. Since then everyone has settled in really well and children are making excellent progress, trying and achieving new things every day.
The Ofsted Inspector spoke to parents, staff, a range of other professionals and most importantly the children themselves. Following these discussions; his observations and scrutiny of the school’s policies and records, the school has been judged as Good in all areas.