Birchwood Community High School
A Business and Enterprise College, Leading Edge and Vocational School.
This school opened in 1985 as a purpose built 11-16 mixed comprehensive and since that time has established itself as a very successful school at the heart of its community. Birchwood High School has become key to providing an educated and skilled workforce to suit the local business community.
The philosophy of the school is that each learner is treated as an individual with their own needs, strengths and areas for development. The school aims to encourage every child to seek excellence in all that they do, whilst providing the support and guidance they need to maximise their potential.
We have a good track record for nurturing gifted and talented learners in a range of subject areas as well as learners with special needs. The school has a lift and is fully equipped to accommodate learners who have physical disabilities.
We work in close collaboration with primary colleagues, the staff of Priestley College and other colleges to ensure continuity throughout learners' education.
Our induction programme aims to ensure that new learners settle in quickly and have a happy and confident start at the High School. A real strength of our school is the very good and open relationships enjoyed with parents and carers to ensure learners are given maximum support.
We are fortunate in the quality and commitment of our Governing Body and the links with local residents and the business community.
Extended services are additional services and activities offered by schools to pupils, their families and the community. These services often take place outside of normal school hours and can include access to childcare, sports activities and support for learning. Find out what might be on offer and get information about possible costs and financial help. Childminders provide out of school care and some may have specified they pick up/drop off from this school.
For more detailed information of childcare linked to this school please contact the Families Information Service, who can offer comprehensive up to date information on registered childcare in Warrington including childminders, day nurseries, pre-schools, playgroups, out of school and holiday clubs, carer and toddler groups etc.
Other Useful contacts WBC school admission, transport and pupil services team 01925 443322
01925 853500 Fax: 01925 853502
Birchwood Community High School
SEND Local Offer description
Birchwood Community High School is an inclusive, mainstream 11-18 year school. Post-16 students are taught in the on-site sixth form provision, Birchwood College. Not all toilets are accessible.
SEND Local Offer contact name
Jo Roscow (Assistant Head SENDCo)
What extra support is available at school?
Needs led SALT (speech and language therapy)
Staff know if a child / young person needs support
The SENDCo works closely with primary school staff to identify young people who will need additional support when they start High School. Information is provided about SEND in young people transferring from other schools at a later stage either to our school or our sixth-form college by their previous educational provider. Learner progress is monitored closely through regular assessment and observations by staff to identify any possible areas of need. Parents/carers and young people themselves can raise concerns with teachers or other members of staff at any time, or approach the SENDCo directly. If necessary, the SENDCo and parents/carers will agree to refer learners for more specialist screening and intervention from external agencies, e.g. from the Speech and Language Service, or the Educational Psychologist.
What to do if you think your child needs support
If you think your child has special educational needs, contact the SENDCo (details above).Following these discussions, outside agencies may be consulted for further advice.
How will staff support a child with SEND?
Initially, teaching staff will support young people through differentiated learning and Quality First Teaching. Subject teachers are responsible for maximising progress in their academic area. Following further assessment, should additional support be required, a plan will be discussed between you and the SENDCo which will be shared with all staff working with that individual. The plan will be monitored regularly. Assessment of needs forms the next stage of the planning. For learners who require additional support, a team of teaching assistants provide in class support. This is often shared between learners. As far as possible, learners stay in the classroom but sometimes it is necessary to withdraw them for individual small group intervention, e.g. to develop literacy, numeracy skills. Programmes are either delivered by a part-time specialist teacher or trained teaching assistants. Some teachers and teaching assistants also provide before and after school support in targeted areas. The work of the teaching assistants is allocated and monitored by the SENDCo. Progress of learners is reviewed at regular intervals.
How is the curriculum matched to a child's needs?
In the first instance, lessons will be differentiated to suit a variety of learning styles and needs. A modified curriculum is offered to learners who arrive in school with low Key Stage 2 levels for English and Maths instead of following the full complement of Modern Foreign Languages lessons in Key Stage 3, they have additional Literacy and Numeracy lessons on their timetable. In Key Stage 4, learners are offered three different curriculum pathways depending on their needs. In Key Stage 5, young people are guided by Birchwood College staff to follow appropriate courses.
How do parents learn about their child's progress?
Assessment data is sent home at five points in the school year and there is an annual Performance Review with subject teachers. For some learners with additional needs and specific plans, further meetings will take place with the SENDCo to discuss progress and identify next steps. The young person's views will be part of this process. Part of the plan will include any advice on how you can support your child's learning.
How is children's well-being supported?
The school has a strong pastoral structure. Learners and students have a form tutor who is primarily responsible for their care, guidance and support in the school. Each year group is led by a Year Team Leader. Learner Voice is strong in the school and there are a variety of ways young people can share their views. Learners who have formal reviews with the SENDCo around their particular needs are asked to contribute their opinions about how they wish to be supported and to reflect on the progress they are making. The school's Learner Services Department consists of a dedicated team of non-teaching staff. The Head of Learner Services is also the school's Attendance and Safeguarding Officer. A range of strategies are put in place to improve attendance and promote positive behaviour. There is an Inclusion Support Team of two who run individual programmes and devise behaviour plans if learners are displaying particularly complex behaviour patterns. A part time Family Support Worker and a part time Emotional Health and Well-being Worker are based in the school and support learners with the highest level of need. They also support learners and families in our extended cluster of schools. We have comprehensive policies to deal with medical issues, based on current good practice and accepted guidelines.
What specialist services can the setting access?
Where appropriate, the school is able to access Educational Psychologists, SEN Consultants, Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, a Family Support Worker, an Emotional Health and Well-being Specialist, CAMHS and Social Care Services. Access to these services is prioritised according to need and availability.
What SEND training do staff receive?
Training is provided according to the needs of young people in the school. Training needs are reviewed regularly and adapted accordingly. We currently have staff trained to deliver Speech and Language programmes and to deliver specific literacy programmes to develop phonic skills. Staff who support young people with visual or hearing impairments have had specific training on this. Staff have been given guidance on how to support learners with particular needs, such as Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Whole staff training around SEND is a focus of the school's development plan in 2014-15.
How are all children included in all activities?
Our school and curriculum is fully inclusive and accessible to all young people. Any particular needs will be taken into account when planning trips and after-school clubs to ensure that all learners are able to take a full and active part in school life. Parents/carers of young people with additional needs will be consulted to ensure optimum provision at all times.
How accessible is the environment?
The building is accessible to wheelchairs. There are 8 disabled toilets across the school and College site and access to disabled changing facilities. The physical environment is reviewed regularly to ensure full accessibility for all. We endeavour to remove any barriers to communication through regular review of need. Some adaptations to the physical environment include flashing bells to support learners with hearing impairments, lifts in buildings with more than one storey, ramps for wheelchair access and high visibility paint on stairs for young people with visual impairments. The school has an Evacuation Chair to support young people with physical disabilities during fire evacuations and training is provided annually for this. The school employs a tutor to come in for one day a week to support young people whose first language is not English. This tutor helps the school to communicate with parents/carers whose first language is not English.
How are resources matched to children's needs?
There is a specific budget allocated for SEN to fund the development of resources for children with additional needs. These are allocated on a fair and consistent basis dependent on: the extent of available funds; the recommendations of external agencies; the availability of targeted Local Authority funding and priorities established within the annual school SEND development plan.
How are children supported through transition?
Before learners join the school in Year 7, discussions take place between primary and secondary school staff to identify strengths and needs of individual learners. Assessment data and SEND information is passed to our staff. All learners experience two transition days in the summer term of Year 6, where they follow a typical timetable and engage in team-building activities. For young people who have been identified as needing enhanced transition, they are invited to two additional visits where a more tailored programme is delivered in smaller groups. Where necessary, young people can also have individual visits. When young people are in Year 9, the transition from Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4 is considered carefully and additional support is given to SEND learners when choosing their options. The school's Guidance Coordinator will meet with learners who have a statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan at several points in Year 9, Year 10 and Year 11 to ensure they are planning thoughtfully for the next stage of their education and for adulthood. A transition plan is written by the SENDCo for these learners. Similarly, the school's Guidance Coordinator works closely with young people in the College who have additional needs to help them with applications for Higher Education, Apprenticeships or employment. This supplements the general programme of Information, Advice and Guidance delivered as part of the College curriculum. The SENDCo also writes a transition plan for these students. If young people with additional needs leave the school at any point to join another establishment, the SENDCo discusses individual needs with the SENDCo at the new setting and passes files on.
How is a decision made about the support needed?
The Head Teacher and SENDCo, with appropriate advice from external agencies where required, will allocate resources and support. Recommendations from appropriate professionals will be taken into account. Plans will be discussed with parents / carers and reviewed regularly. Our own internal assessment procedures will also inform the process and measure the impact of support provided.If young people have a statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan, the school has a statutory duty to ensure the support outlined in these documents is provided.
How can parents and carers be involved?
Parents/carers can ring the school or college office to ask the relevant member of staff to contact them about specific concerns. In addition, parents / carers are routinely invited to discuss the progress of their children, either as part of Performance Review Evenings or individually with particular members of staff, such as the form tutor, subject teacher, Year Team Leader, Head of Learner Services or the SENDCo.
Who can be contacted for further information?
For general school based information, you should initially contact your child's form tutor. Form tutors may be able to answer the question themselves, but will refer it to the relevant colleague if necessary. If you have specific questions relating to special educational needs and disabilities, contact Jo Roscow, the SENDCo (contact details above), or the Teaching Assistant who is your child's Keyworker. The governor for SEND is Debi Ost – messages to her can be passed on via the school office. Warrington Local Authority's Local Offer for SEND can be found on their website: www.warrington.gov.uk. You can also seek advice from Warrington SEND Information, Advice & Support Service – firstname.lastname@example.org.