SEND and Additional Support at Birchwood
The Oak Suite
The Oak Suite was established in 2015. The vision was to provide a safe, calm learning environment for a range of learners and students with additional needs. The Oak Suite is staffed by a team of specialist teachers and teaching assistants, led by the SENCO.
To provide additional lessons in literacy and numeracy, taught by specialist teachers, so that learners can “catch up” with their peers.
To provide additional spoken and written English lessons for our EAL learners.
To support targeted learners who require a reduced timetable for a short period or for a longer time as appropriate.
To provide a safe, quiet place in a nurturing environment at break and lunchtimes for learners who may find break and lunch in the main building overwhelming.
To provide a base for external specialists for individual assessments and meetings with parents/carers, facilitating effective communication between partner professionals and school staff.
The Literacy Room
Learners who join us from primary school with the lowest Standard Scores for their Key Stage 2 SATS Reading exam are provided with timetabled Literacy support for three lessons a fortnight instead of going to Spanish lessons. They are taught in small groups, where key skills and memory are developed in a multi-sensory way. Some targeted learners have access to a structured phonics programme.
Depending on the progress made, learners may move into Spanish lessons in Year 8 or 9, or remain in Literacy groups throughout Key Stage 3.
The Numeracy Room
Learners who join us from primary school with the lowest Standard Scores for their Key Stage 2 SATS Mathematics exam are provided with timetabled Numeracy support for three lessons a fortnight instead of going to French lessons. There is a multi-sensory approach to developing key skills; lessons are delivered in an interactive way with extensive use of engaging activities, games and competitions.
Depending on the progress made, learners may move into French lessons in Year 8 or 9, or remain in Numeracy groups throughout Key
The Green Room
The Green Room is used to support learners with social skills and other interventions during lesson times. At break and lunch-time, the Green Room is used as a social area for learners of all ages who do not feel comfortable during unstructured times within the wider school environment. The Green Room allows learners to relax, play board games and chat with their peers as members of the ‘Break and Lunchtime Buddies.’ The sessions are supervised by a Teaching Assistant and learners can develop their social interaction skills in a natural way.
The Inclusion Room
The Inclusion Room is used to provide a secure, quiet learning environment for a small number of learners with additional needs in an alternative space to the classroom. The work supports targeted learners who require a reduced timetable for a short period or for a longer time as appropriate. This may include learners who have only three option choices for reasons such as joining the school late in Key
Stage 4. It may also include learners who have been out of education perhaps due to a long fixed term exclusion or for medical reasons and need a slow integration back into the classroom. The key purpose is to provide a small environment that is a place to complete appropriately differentiated classwork set by teachers, supported by TA's. The team of staff also support learners to re-integrate back into the classroom where appropriate and they encourage learners to attend their lessons and participate fully in school life.
Other support available
Homework Club, Oak Suite
This runs before school, from 8am in the morning until 8.45am and then after school from 3pm – 4pm. It takes place in the Literacy room. Learners have access to TA support, IT facilities and printers.
EAL support, Oak Suite
Our EAL tutor, who is in school twice a week, to provide either in class support for targeted EAL learners or to conduct 1-1 language sessions in one of the Oak Suite work rooms.
External Specialists, Oak Suite
There are external experts, such as Educational Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists, Specialist Teachers (including those for the Hearing and Visually Impaired) and Occupational Therapists who use the Oak Suite workrooms to conduct assessments and meet with parents/carers.
Behaviour for Learning Mentor, Behaviour & Inclusion Centre
There is a full-time Behaviour for Learning Mentor who supports learners through programmes to improve their engagement in learning and/or their behaviour for learning.
More information about SEND
SEND Information and the Local Offer