TES Schools Awards – Alternative Provision School of the Year
Last year Birtenshaw School was shortlisted for Creative School of the Year Award.
For the second year running, Birtenshaw School has been shortlisted for an award. This year the school has been shortlisted for Alternative Provision. A category which judges the quality and innovation of schools outside of the mainstream sector providing specialist education services to those pupils unable to access mainstream education for whatever reason.
To have been shortlisted once from amongst schools from all over the UK once is a great achievement, to have been shortlisted again is a real honour and an acknowledgement of the difference Birtenshaw School makes to the children and young people we support.
The TES awards are an amazing opportunity to share our successes and showcase our approach.
Many pupils at Birtenshaw have had failed placements in the past and a lot have disengaged from education and may have missed months of school.
Creativity is embedded within the school ethos ensuring that activities and experiences encourage expression, flexibility of thought and social interaction – particularly
important for the majority of our students who are on the Autistic Spectrum. Over the past year we have studied the works of Shakespeare, experimented with SMART materials in Design, squashed custard filled buboes during our journey through the 14th Century and used ICT and other assistive technologies to create Andy Warhol inspired artwork.
One of our main strengths is the therapeutic input which underpins the curriculum. The classrooms are built around a central ‘hub’ of therapeutic and sensory integration spaces that are available for the pupils to access throughout the day as well as being integrated into the
individualised timetables for each pupil. The fully accessible hydrotherapy pool sits within this ‘hub’ and pupils have one-to-one sessions with the occupational therapist as well as group swim sessions.
For must pupils and their parents, coming to Birtenshaw School has shown that when alternative and personalised approaches are taken and each child is treated as an individual they are able to make real progress and begin to catch up with their learning.
On the final judging day for the TES awards; a carefully selected and distinguished panel of education experts review the shortlisted entries and select the winners for each category. Judges will also choose an overall school of the year from winners of the early years, primary, secondary and alternative provision school.