About the Birches

Welcome To The Birches Specialist Support Primary School!

We are a 164 place school that supports pupils with diagnosis of ASC, SLD and PMLD. The Birches is a fun, forward thinking school that has communication at the heart of everything we do. Maintained by Manchester Local Authority, facilities include a hydrotherapy pool, a range of outdoor play areas, a sensory garden, two multisensory rooms and two soft play areas. We offer a vibrant and exciting curriculum with independence, life skills, comunication and physical development as common threads of all that we do.

We have a large staff team with a vast amount of experience of working with children and young people with learning difficulties. As well as teaching staff the school offers an onsite School Nurse, Physio team, Speech and Language Team, Sleep counselling team, Outreach programme and Occupational Therapy and sensory integration. Please see “ Local Authority Local Offer “ on the website.

All pupils have an individual Pupil Personal Plan to support their learning which is supported by the curriculum. We invest in PE and Music based activities as key curriculum drivers. We have been accredited by the National Autistic Society as the first maintained school in Manchester to gain Autism Accreditation.

We believe in forging a strong and positive partnership with parents, carers and families. Organised events included weekly coffee mornings, Family Fun days, Christmas and Summer Fayres – We have an active supporting charity, Buddies of The Birches (BOBS) who organise various out of school events throughout the year, including a weekend away for families- We gained the Leading Parent Partnership award in 2011 and regained it in May 2015. We were recognised as Outstanding in all areas by Ofsted in 2016/17.

We provide pupils with the enrichment of educational visits and community links. We take our pupil’s views and opinions very seriously, especially during School Council Election week. We have a healthy programme for volunteers and students and are regularly supported by pupils from Manchester Grammar and Withington Girls Schools.

As well as enrichment in the community the school is committed to developing its pupils creatively in areas such as PE and Music – the cheerleading team have represented the school nationally – Go the Birches Bears!! Pupils also take part in rebound therapy sessions, multisensory sessions, hydrotherapy, sensory and yoga sessions, wake up shake up sessions, sign to sing, ………..

Other activities we provide include swimming at Moss Side baths, John Muirs programme (highly motivating learning opportunities based in an outdoor setting), regular Super Learning events, outdoor pursuits including a Year 6 residential trip, a newly created woodland area with barbeque, and our latest additions are a cycle track and a range of large swings and play equipment.


The School Day

School starts at 9.00am 

9am - 9.15am         Welcome Pupils and Transition from Transport to Classroom

9.15am - 9.30am    AM Registration

9.30am - 12pm       Class Morning Teaching Time

12pm - 1pm             Lunchtime (Lunch and Recreation)

1pm - 1.15pm           PM Registration

1.15pm - 3pm           Class Afternoon Teaching Time

3pm - 3.15pm          Reward Time / Collective Worship

3.15pm - 3.45pm     Supervision of Transport / Transition to Parents


The Secretary of State for Education has made suggestions about the recommended minimum teaching hours for pupils and as far as is possible the school tries to follow these guidelines.



Sec 1.32 of Code of Practice:   Provision for the pupils is a matter for the school as a whole.  In addition to the governing body, the school's head tacher and all other members of staff have important day to day responsibilities.  For any matters that would be referred to a SENCO in a mainstream school please contact the school directly. 



Mission Statement – Working Together, Achieving Together


Files to Download

Working Together
Achieving Together

Contact us at The Birches Specialist Support Primary School

Main Contact: Adel White
Newholme Road
West Didsbury
M20 2XZ
ofsted outstanding 2016/2017 lppa logo Gold School Games Award
national autistic society award 2022