Birdwood School is a REMEDIAL SCHOOL catering for children with average intellectual potential. Birdwood School was started in 1973, as part of the services of the Sherwood Children’s Centre. The Centre and School is currently located at 868 King Cetshwayo Highway, Sherwood. Birdwood School is not a special needs school.
Birdwood School currently has a capacity for 140 learners from grades 000 to grade 7. Birdwood School is registered with the Kwa Zulu Natal department of education as an Independent School.
Birdwood School provides a learning opportunity for children with developmental delays and learning disabilities. In order to qualify for acceptance to the school children need to undergo an assessment either through the Centre or as outpatients to the Centre. On the recommendation of an assessment by an Occupational Therapist, Speech and Language therapist, Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Paediatrician, Paediatric Neurologist or another professional, a child may be considered for an Observation period at Birdwood School in order to determine whether they would be a candidate for placement at Birdwood School. The observation period is not a guarantee of placement.
A two week observation period is conducted in the Pre Primary school and a 1 week observation is conducted in the Primary School. The child is observed in their current grade. During the observation the educator assesses, observes and monitors the child. At the end of the observation period a case conference with the educator and Birdwood’s Therapeutic Head is held to determine whether the programme offered at the school suits the specific needs of the child. Parents are given feedback following the observation period.
Birdwood school offers a remedial programme for children with cognitive potential falling in the average range. If an intellectual or developmental assessment is performed and a child is not performing in the average range, it is at the discretion of the school to determine whether to grant an observation period or not. Once the observation period is completed and the child has been fully observed and assessed, it is at the discretion of the school to determine whether the child would benefit from the remedial programme being offered, given their cognitive potential and developmental delays.
Specific admission criteria
▪ All children accepted for observation and placement at Birdwood School need to be fully toilet trained as facilities and limited staff capacity do not allow for nappy changing
▪ All children accepted must be verbal or have the potential for speech as identified during the observation period or by the Centre’s Professional staff.
▪ All children undergoing an observation period, with a view to placement, must appear to be capable of coping with a structured pre-primary school programme. If they are not able to cope with the level of structure offered, alternative schooling options will be discussed.
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Children are considered for an observation period from the age of 3 years 6 months but this will be dependent on the extent of the developmental delays indicated in the assessments.
Children more than a year older than the average age for the grade will not be considered for observation or placement at Birdwood School.
Children falling into the following diagnostic categories are considered for an observation period and placement at Birdwood School:
▪ Learning disabilities
▪ High Functioning Autistic Spectrum Disorder, minimal support required (see Admission criteria under heading 3 above)
▪ Medical conditions eg. Epilepsy
▪ Hearing Impairment (Cochlear Implant and hearing aids)
▪ Visual Impairment (not blind children as our facilities do not allow for full classroom support)
▪ Syndrome diagnoses or organic/metabolic/congenital disorders (where cognitive impairment is not a significant feature)
▪ Sensory Integration Disorder or sensory processing difficulties
▪ Auditory Processing difficulties including Central Auditory Processing Disorder
▪ Developmental delays caused by events, such as, extremely premature birth, near drowning, accidents, serious illness
▪ Other diagnostic categories causing delays in development eg. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Mood Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Aphasia, Dyspraxia
Birdwood school offers a small class environment for children with developmental delays and learning difficulties who may have difficulty coping in a large class environment
▪ Classes accommodate a maximum of 15 children, with additional support of a teacher assistant
▪ Birdwood offers Speech and Language therapy and Occupational therapy on site, during school hours which maximises therapist/educator liaison and assists parents practically, as they do not have to take children to therapy after school. This also facilitates the multidisciplinary treatment approach offered at the school. Please note: therapy fees are not included in the School fees and are charged at medical aid rates
▪ Social Skills groups are offered from grade R which allow for maximum holistic treatment
▪ The School follows the CAPS syllabus and is consistent with mainstream education in KZN. This facilitates a child’s placement back into mainstream education once they leave Birdwood
▪ The children at Birdwood are closely monitored with a review process occurring in May and November where each child’s progress is discussed in detail with their case therapists. Progress Reports are issued at this time
▪ The School offers a rich pre-primary and primary school experience, including outings, activities, extra murals, and events eg. Grandparents’ day, a school play, etc.
▪ Homework Club and Aftercare on site.
▪ Extra mural activities like soccer, art, pottery and karate are offered after school.
Please see the fees for the current year on the Fee Structure page.
School fees exclude Therapy fees. Therapies (claimable from some medical aids) are charged according to rates provided on Fee Structure page.
Aftercare fees are available on the Fee Structure page. Aftercare includes the Homework club fee.