Birdwood School

Admission Policy of Birdwood School

1. Introduction:

Birdwood School has functioned as a Developmental Unit catering for children with developmental delays, since 1973, as part of the services of the Children's Assessment and Therapy Centre Trust. Birdwood School was previously called the Kingfisher Pre-Primary Developmental Unit (hereafter referred to as Birdwood School) and has undergone a name change as the Children's Assessment and Therapy Centre has moved to new premises and has also undergone a name change. The new name is the Sherwood Children’s Centre and this name has been registered for change with the Directorate of Non Profit Organizations. The Centre and School is currently located at 868 King Cetshwayo Highway, Sherwood.Byrdwood LOGO Final fix resized

Birdwood School currently has 4 classes with a capacity for 54 learners.  This will increase each year as we add another grade.  An application has been lodged with the Kwa Zulu Natal department of education to register Birdwood school for grades 1 - 5.

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 or a combination of the aforementioned professionals, a child deemed to have developmental delays or learning difficulties will be considered for an Observation period at the 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.


2. Observation Period:

A two week observation period is conducted during which time the educators and case Psychologist assess, observe and monitor the child within the Unit. At the end of the two weeks a case conference with the educator and case Psychologist 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.

3. Admission Criteria:

photo8Birdwood 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 case Psychologist/Principal/Director 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 case Psychologist/Principal/Director 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.


4. Age Requirements:

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 and at the discretion of the case Psychologist/Principal/Director.

Children more than a year older than the average age for the grade will not be considered for observation or placement at Birdwood School.

5. Diagnostic Categories:

Children falling into the following diagnostic categories are considered for an observation period and placement at Birdwood School:

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  • Learning disabilities
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder (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

6. Advantages of Birdwood School:

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 between 10 – 12 children (with a maximum of 15 from Grade R upwards)
  • 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
  • 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.

7. Fees:

Estimated for 2015 are R24,000.00 this will be confirmed later in the year.
In addition, therapies (claimable from medical aid) are charged according to rates provided on Fee Structure page.

Monthly costs for After-school care are:
12:00 am to 5:00 pm = R740.00
12:00 am to 3:00 pm = R570.00
12:00 am to 2:00 pm = R470.00
Casual use of after-school care = R25.00 per hour or part thereof

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Contact Us

Physical Address: 868 King Cetshwayo Highway,
Sherwood, 4091, KwaZulu-Natal

Postal Address: P O Box 30149, Mayville, 4058

Telephone: 031-2085117

Fax: 031-2085204

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.