Overarching Aims and Priorities 2023-2024

Staff Mission Statement

We have an unwavering passion and determination to continuously improve our school to provide the best outcomes for every pupil; not because we aren’t good enough, but because we can always be better.”

Staff Wellbeing Code = Respect + Professionalism + Empathy 


Key Priority 1–  Enhanced strategic focus on positive behaviour for learning approaches such as  ‘Post Incident Learning’, thus ensuring strategies reflect the diversity of need to improve student outcomes.

Based on a culture of reflection, research and school improvement, we aim to further develop our positive behaviour for learning systems. This will fully reflect the diversity of need within our school population, ensuring all staff feel confident following a formalised system that enables them to feel empowered when responding to behaviour. We will specifically focus on the further development of the system of ‘Post Incident Learning’ (PIL) and enabling students to reflect on behaviours and develop greater depth in their strategies to respond appropriately and safely at times of anxiety. In this sense, incidents are viewed as a learning opportunity for all, which will in turn improve life-long outcomes.

Key Priority 2-  Commitment to using our agency to support inclusive practice in education  through internal curriculum evaluation and via our leadership of the SEND and Inclusion Hub

At Birch Wood we embrace the concept that inclusion is a journey; we are committed to ensuring that inclusion is built into educational practice. Through our leadership of the L&R SEND and Inclusion Hub we aim to continue to use our agency to support inclusive practice in education across all sectors. Internally, there will be a greater focus on evaluating our curriculum pathways, seeking opportunities for students across a range of needs and disabilities to learn together and from one another, in order to support a culture where human diversity is celebrated and so our students enter society with  greater acceptance and respect for everyone.

Key Priority 3 –  Across the curriculum, we will review and ensure assessment is a powerful means to inform and enhance subsequent high-quality teaching

We recognise that any consideration of our curriculum must be firmly connected to the understanding of high-quality, relevant assessment for SEND learners. Reframing our summative assessment will better inform teaching, support school-level decision-making, and impact learning. Through this, we will continue to empower our teachers to refine their instructional strategies, be ambitious for all and provide tailored support; enabling every student to thrive academically and holistically.

Click here to see our Key Priorities from previous years


Key Priority 1 – Enhanced strategic focus on the CPDL of support staff.

The appraisal process will be re-designed to enable both teaching and support staff to have greater and more strategic input into their CPDL and ensure they have the skills and support they need to carry out their role effectively, feel highly motivated and valued in doing so. Existing skills and strengths will be identified allowing staff to utilise these and contribute to the life of the school. This will include a focus on ensuring all staff are skilled at supporting reading and communication.

Key  Priority 2 – Introduce a program of peer coaching for teachers underpinned by a new ‘Wellbeing Code’.

Introduce a programme of peer coaching for teachers underpinned by a new ‘Wellbeing Code’ providing more regular opportunities for teacher’s to reflect on their individual development targets and also facilitate structured peer support for teachers. Clear training and guidance around coaching and our wellbeing ethos will help sustain and motivate teachers to continue to provide world class outcomes. As a result there are better mechanisms for school to maintain a resilient workforce and increase social capital. This will further support efficient working practice in all areas, creating a culture where feedback is a non-negotiable but also a positive aspect of working at Birch Wood.

Key Priority 3 – Overhaul enrichment opportunities at Birch Wood to further enhance the curriculum intent of the school in line with our ENABLES ethos.

Overhaul enrichment opportunities at Birch Wood to further enhance the curriculum intent of the school in line with our ENABLES ethos by providing students with opportunities to engage with potentially inaccessible cultural capital. Students will have a wider range of opportunities throughout their educational journey at Birch Wood, this will develop character, resilience and motivation, and encourage them to pursue wider goals.

Key Priority 4 – To continue to develop the strategic implementation of the therapeutic curriculum.

To continue to develop the strategic implementation of the therapeutic curriculum, broadening the offer and providing quality assurance to maximise impact towards outcomes. Continue to use specialists in identifying and supporting needs across school, further ensuring all students have access to appropriate therapies and support and that staff receive specialist training to meet student needs.


Key Priority 1 – Strategic, high quality, research led professional development to improve quality of education.

There will be a greater strategic focus on professional learning and development at Birch Wood, which will be underpinned by robust evidence that has a focus on improving and evaluating student outcomes. Professional development programmes will have greater priority within leadership and be sustained over time. 

This will further contribute towards and sustain a highly motivated and skilled staff team.

Key Priority 2 – Enhance curriculum intent and implementation to secure consistency across the school so that pupils achieve the best possible outcomes.

The school’s curriculum intent and implementation  is secure and consistent across the school so that pupils achieve the best possible outcomes. Staff work collaboratively to build on student progress year on year, taking in to account the impact of the pandemic and so that these needs are addressed. The curriculum is well communicated and supports parents understanding of their child’s learning journey and affords opportunities for them to contribute where appropriate.

Key Priority 3 – Further establish our impact in supporting and developing SEND provision in Leicestershire.

Further establish our impact in supporting and developing SEND provision in Leicestershire.  This will include a high quality Birch Wood SEND outreach and review offer designed  to have a positive impact on the development of SEND practice in Leicestershire. This will continue to build the professional development experiences of our expert teachers, and utilize their skills externally.

Key Priority 4– Whole School Reading Strategy.

Launch a whole school reading strategy, which further promotes a balanced and engaging approach to the teaching of reading  in order to develop pupils’ fluency, confidence and enjoyment of reading throughout the school.


Key Priority 1–  Implement a robust ‘Education Continuity Plan & Process’.

We aim to continue to provide an excellent quality of learning for all students through the creation of an accessible & seamless ‘virtual classroom’, where interaction and feedback is central. We will implement the best technology to facilitate the continuity of learning under most circumstances that may arise. We aim to upskill staff and support families to ensure accessibility and wish to replicate personalised learning and high quality resources in the ‘virtual classroom’, and by also providing physical resources where appropriate. This will build on our positive experiences and feedback from the summer’ 20 lockdown and is being done in consultation with all stakeholders.

Key Priority 2– Implementing a strong therapeutic & academic ‘Recovery Curriculum’.

In recognition of the impact of the pandemic on CYP both academically and emotionally we are implementing a thoughtful research based recovery curriculum. A key aim will be the retrieval of skills & knowledge, maintenance and progression in the context of EHCP outcomes and academic progression. This will be managed in a supportive and caring environment that is sensitive to potential anxieties.

In addition, we have implemented a holistic recovery curriculum focussed on recovery from loss. The programme has the capacity to provide a deeper and longer lasting recovery period, enabling a fuller exploration of the severity of trauma and emergent attachment issues. It will centre on fundamental wellbeing and secure positive development of the young person.

Key Priority 3– Enhance the English & Literacy curriculum across the whole school.

To build on existing good practice in literacy & English across the school by ensuring there is a shared approach and strategy across all pathways and phases. This will allow for a clear sequence of learning at a class based level, across key stages and sites. This will improve consistency of practice and the tracking of progress between phases. This will include an overhaul of our library and access to reading materials.

We provide a wonderful learning environment and SEND expert staff who are highly committed to our pupils. An education at Birch Wood positively changes children’s lives allowing them to achieve their ‘personal best’. Our ENABLES culture embodies our high aspirations and unwavering passion and determination to provide outstanding outcomes for every pupil.”