SEND Provision at Birchwood

Our Aims:

  • To ensure that all students meet their expected progress in learning
  • To ensure that all students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) have their needs identified in order to support academic progression and continued wellbeing
  • To ensure all students can access a balanced curriculum, differentiated where appropriate
  • To ensure that all students with SEND are able to fully access the curriculum by providing extra support or additional resources thereby removing barriers to learning
Working in the Personalised Learning Centre

At Birchwood High School we believe that every student, regardless of circumstance, should have access to a broad and balanced education. Our aim is to ensure that all students are educated in a safe environment throughout their time at school, and we do everything we can to ensure that all have a positive experience on a day-to-day basis.

The aim is for our SEND students to become independent learners in the classroom. For this to be the case, we strive to continually improve our ‘Quality First Teaching’ where the classroom teacher scaffolds tasks to ensure that everyone is fully engaged and accessing the work.

We believe that every student should be treated as an individual; to cater for their needs. We provide a range of support and intervention to achieve this, including high quality pastoral care and some 1 to 1 or small group interventions. We also never forget the ‘student voice’ and take on board what each individual has to say about what it’s like to be a Birchwood student. Additionally, we do our very best to maintain an ongoing dialogue with parents as we understand they are also key in us providing pupils with a positive experience at school.

At Birchwood, we want all students to leave us as well-rounded individuals who are ready to take their next steps into the world. Students with SEND are no exception. Therefore, we do what we can to provide opportunities that are inspiring and enriching throughout their time at Birchwood and create a community where all students feel proud to belong .

Rob Herbert – Assistant Principal (SEND Provision)

Rob Herbert - Assistant Principal

Meet the Staff

Assistant SENCo
Mrs S Mendel

PLC Administrator:
Mrs S Waller

To contact a member of this Faculty, click their name to open a new e-mail

My name is Lori Jackson and I am the SENCO at Birchwood. I have been at the school for 10 years and I am also a teacher of Art.

I have always been passionate about helping those with SEND, as are the members of my team in the Personalised Learning Centre. We do all that we can to ensure that all students can fully access lessons and pay particular attention to individual’s strengths and difficulties. I believe that we are a truly inclusive school at Birchwood. Staff will always strive to find the best ways to fulfil students’ academic and pastoral needs. It is my belief that a big part of education is about preparing students for their next steps in life and we will do everything we can to facilitate students being a success in whatever it is they want to pursue

Lori Jackson, SENCo
Lori Jackson, SENCo

Our Personalised Learning Centre

The PLC provides facilities such as:

  • Student computers
  • Social area during break and lunchtime
  • Sensory area for emotional regulation
  • Books
  • Games
  • Lego
  • Student working area
  • Lockers for specific needs


The PLC has been really helpful in supporting my son at Birchwood, especially with moving from primary to secondary school. They have been open to listening to our and his concerns and making as many adaptations as possible. The PLC staff are flexible in their approaches to day-to-day challenges and work closely with us to address them. They are also very keen to celebrate successes and my son has grown in confidence and maturity throughout his time at Birchwood.

Birchwood Parent

Policies and Other Key Documents

Admissions arrangements for Students with a Statement or Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC) are included in our Admissions Policy:

Information on the complaints procedure regarding SEND provision can be found in our Complaints Policy:

Latest News

Gardening Club wins third prize

As it reaches the end of this year’s very successful growing season the students entered some of their wonderful produce into the local Sawbridgeworth Garden and Allotment Show, which takes place every year (the first Saturday in September). They came third in their section for their Rainbow Chard. We are currently looking for some new glass for our greenhouse so we can continue with projects over the winter months including making some bug and bird houses.

Mrs Homer

Year 9 Animal Care Short Course

A student in the Year 9 Animal Care Short Course had VIP visitors this week in their lesson. This included a milk snake called Red, python called Casino and two giant stick insects! All students were full of lots of excellent questions for the Animal Handler (Mrs Whitehorn), ranging from life span, to what does this snake eat and can it eat me! All of the evidence from this visit will be included in their portfolios and be part of their information required to pass this course. We are really grateful that Mrs Whitehorn supports us in this way and that the students have the opportunity to handle such exotic animals.

Power of Silence

Power of Silence

Please see attached poster for a free workshop aimed at the importance of communication between parents and children with additional needs. Please contact Mrs S Waller at if you would like to book a place.