Rosalind Hopkins - Head Teacher
Rosalind Hopkins – Head Teacher

Birch Wood School is a successful and vibrant area special school which serves Melton Mowbray and the surrounding areas in Leicestershire. We provide a highly specialised and completely unique learning environment, which ensures we can meet a range of learning needs. We share a culture of high aspirations for our children and young people and aim to provide a high quality, relevant and balanced education that focuses on individual, personal and academic achievement.

Our school community has an unwavering passion and determination to continuously improve our school to provide the best outcomes for every pupil. In essence we are a reflective learning community, with the highest standards for our pupils care and education. We take great pride in our school and our ability to work together with parents and professionals to provide students with opportunities to progress and achieve both academically and socially.

Students are taught in small groups, usually with more than one member of staff in attendance so that we can nurture, challenge and inspire them through to success. We are a very well-resourced school with many in house specialists including our own commissioned Speech and Language Therapist and Educational Psychologist. We also offer a range of other therapies and additional support services including Music Therapy, Pet Therapy and Lego Therapy.

More about Our School

Within the Birch Wood School learning community we have 201 students on role across 3 sites; Grange Drive, Birch Wood Vale and Ashton House. We take an individual approach to every child.

Birch Wood School- Grange Drive

  • 2 Early Years/Key Stage 1 Classes catering for PMLD, SLD, MLD including ASD
  • 3 Key Stage 2 Classescatering for PMLD, SLD, MLD including ASD
  • 1 High Functioning Key Stage 1 ASD specific class 
  • 1 High Functioning Key Stage 2 ASD specific class 
  • 1 High Functioning Key Stage 3 ASD specific class
  • 1 Key Stage 3 class- PMLD & SLD including ASD
  • 1 Key Stage 4 & 5 PMLD & SLD including ASD
  • 1 Key Stage 5 PMLD & SLD including ASD  

Birch Wood Vale School- Burton Road

Birch Wood Vale caters for students aged 11-19 with multiple learning difficulties on the moderate learning difficulties spectrum including Autism. We offer a mainstream style curriculum, which is broad and balanced providing students with the opportunity to take a range of qualifications including GCSEs. We are able to provide both SEND specialist teachers and subject specialists in a small nurturing environment with no more than 14 students in a class. Therefore we are able to ensure students get a careful balance of academic opportunities, life skills including preparation for adulthood and therapeutic input. We have a good track record of success with many students achieving GCSEs and moving on to take up college courses.

Ashton House – Burton Road

Birch Wood’s high functioning Autism provision provides a highly bespoke learning environment for students 11-19 years old.

Students have the opportunity to follow a personalised curriculum with specialist input from subject specialists and professionals. Students are able take GCSEs and various vocational courses as well as access appropriate therapeutic support in a calm structured environment.

We develop the provision around the needs of the individual in order to respond to their unique talents and needs. We enable students to feel positive about school so that they feel happy to learn and are proud of their progress and their place in the Birch Wood community. Students benefit from a specialised low sensory environment and structured routines. They are surrounded by a close team of highly trained and dedicated staff with very high ratios of staff- often one to one. Students have access to a therapeutic environment as well as primary trained teachers and secondary trained subject specialists at Key Stage 3 onwards. We have very high aspirations for our student’s academic achievement, but know the importance of getting the foundations for learning right in order for them to flourish.

Across all our sites our ENABLES ethos underpins our teaching and learning and we aim to produce confident, happy young adults ready for their next steps in learning.

At Birch Wood Area Special school you should receive a warm welcome from students and staff, be inspired by their thirst for learning and positive attitudes, sense their enjoyment and respect for each other and be able to see the positive difference.

Our Ambassadors

We are honoured to work with our school ambassadors, Matt Hampson and Claire Lomas MBE. These inspiring people from the local area do amazing work and we’re proud to have their support.

Matt Hampson

Matt Hampson

Since his accident in 2005 during an England Under 21 rugby training session, Matt has battled hard to live as normal a life as possible. Paralysed from the neck down and breathing via the aid of a ventilator, it is testament to him that he decided to set up the Foundation so that others who have suffered similar catastrophic injuries through sport can receive support and assistance.

As well as his Foundation duties which include, visiting, mentoring, providing advice and fundraising, Matt delivers inspirational talks to young people and businesses around the country. He is also a forwards coach at Oakham School and Oakham Rugby Club, an ambassador for both the RFU’s injured Players Fund and Restart (The Professional Rugby Association’s charity). Patron of Special Effect a charity set up to help disabled children communicate through technology.

The Matt Hampson Foundation

Claire Lomas MBE

Claire’s life turned upside down on 6th May 2007 when she became paralysed from the chest down in a horse riding accident. Claire fractured her neck, dislocated her back, fractured ribs, punctured a lung and got pneumonia. Luckily the neck fracture didn’t damage the spinal cord but the dislocation to the vertebra T4 left her paralysed from the chest down.

Claire Lomas

Claire was a Chiropractor and top level event rider when this freak accident left her unable to do the things she loved. Although Claire was determined from the start to make the best out of the situation there were plenty of days Claire struggled to even get the motivation to get out of bed. She discharged herself from hospital after only 8 weeks, did a lot of rehab (and still does) and over time she found strength and courage to rebuild her life by finding new interests and work as well as raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for research.

A year after her accident Claire met and later married Dan, they had a baby girl – Maisie. She found some new sports (skiing,handcycling, motorbikes), set up a business and fundraised to help get a cure for paralysis. Claire always says she feels so lucky to have the use of her arms, and seeing so many of the patients in the hospital unable to move at all gave her the drive to fundraise as much as possible.

Claire’s Challenge