Birchwood is an alternative education provider that covers the district of Folkestone and Hythe. Pupils attend our provision for a variety of reasons. Years 10 and 11 are generally more long term. Year 11 pupils undertake their GCSE and other relevant vocational qualifications during their time with us. There is a growing cohort of KS3 pupils.
Birchwood also supports students that have been excluded for more than 5 days from their home school; to equip them further for their return to their mainstream school.
Birchwood can take up to a maximum of 40 pupils at any one time; they are taught in small groups supported by dedicated staff. All of our pupils have regular, specific interventions to match their needs.
We have high expectations of all our pupils but aim to equip them with the tools and understanding required in taking ownership of their emotional wellbeing, behaviours and social developments by offering high quality learning experiences in a safe and supportive environment that meets the pupils evolving needs. We provide pupils with the skills to take ownership of their own learning.
At Birchwood every day is a new day, every pupil has as many chances as it takes to overcome their own personal behaviour challenges, working on increasing their understanding of their own mental health and emotional wellbeing. This is supported with interventions delivered by trained staff. A robust rewards and behaviour policy is in place which allows pupils to earn both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. Reflection time is used when behaviour is not acceptable, this is often in the form of mindfulness work, where consequences are necessary, detentions are used.
We work very closely with the referring school, the pupil’s onward destination and alongside a variety of other agencies to ensure that we support the pupil through their educational journey. We aim to do this in a holistic way.
Birchwood advocates for the pupil throughout their educational journey, supporting them to make choices that are informed through an inclusive environment using nurturing approaches, one such approach is encouraging strong respectful relationships, with the pupils addressing staff by their first names.
Birchwood is funded under a part devolved and part delegated model by The Local Authority. We serve the local secondary schools within The Folkestone and Hythe District, with whom the management committee consists of.
Birchwood’s ethos is Learn, Believe, Achieve.