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Orchard School Bristol


Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

At Orchard School  we aim to foster an understanding and positive attitudes to children with Special Educational Needs throughout the school community and provide all pupils with full access to the curriculum.

Please see below our local offer for SEND.

SEND Local Offer

View document curriculum/send_information_report_april_2021.pdf

 SEND and Learning Support Staff Profiles

  • Ms Rebecca Shepherd, BA (Hons), QTS - SENDCo

I graduated from UWE with a BA Hons in Business Education QTS.  I studied at Bath Spa University where I gained The National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators.  I have a passion for Inclusion, ensuring that every student has the opportunity to succeed.

  • Mrs Elzbieta Birkholz, MA, Learning Support Assistant

I graduated from The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland in 1986 with a Master’s degree in History of Art. I am passionate about history and literature. I am dedicated to supporting students in their educational journey and have a particular interest in supporting students with their mathematics.

  • Ms Astrid Cummings, Learning Support Assistant – Personal Care

I am qualified to deliver personal care and physio. I am trained in manual handling and use of the hoist.  I can also administer medicines. I also provide support to in our Ready to Learn environment as well as in lessons.

  • Mrs Enas Elmansuri, BA (Hons), MRes, MPhil - EAL Learning Support Assistant

I graduated from Tripoli University and went on to complete a Masters of Research (TESOL) at Essex University and then a Masters of Philosophy at Bristol University. I have a particular interest in teaching English as an additional language and teaching English to other speakers of the language. I am a learning support assistant for EAL, an Arabic language tutor and a GCSE home language examiner.

  • Miss Lauren Gage, BA (Hons) - Learning Support Assistant

I graduated from UWE with a degree in Drama. I work as a Learning Support Assistant, specifically working with students in Literacy and English. Throughout the school I help assess Speech and Language needs and run targeted Speech and Language Therapy interventions.

  • Miss Daisy Hodgson-Smith BSc, MSc, MBPsS – Learning Support Assistant

I recently graduated from the University of Bristol with both a BSc in Sociology and an MSc in the Psychology of Education.  I am co-Director of a charity in Bristol working to promote inclusivity for children and young adults with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). I am also a support worker and provide short term respite care.

  • Ms Karen Jelf - Learning Support Assistant

I have been working with young people for a number of years. I started in Early Years, before coming to work with teenagers. I have a particular interest in numeracy and literacy. I am qualified to deliver Switch On Reading and Inference Training.

  • Mrs Carol Jones - Learning Support Assistant

After working for our family business, I returned to college in my 30s and gained an NVQ Level 3 in Supporting Teachers and Learning. I am also qualified to lead the Prince’s Trust award. I have worked at several Special Schools across Bristol, including schools for students with SEMH needs and Autistic Units. I am passionate about children’s mental health and supporting young people through their educational journey. I am fully trained in manual handling.

  • Mrs Natalia Lyes - SEMH Learning Support Assistant

I graduated from the University of West of England with a degree in History and Journalism. I also have a master’s degree from The University of Barcelona in Teaching Spanish to children and young adults. I have obtained an NVQ Level 3 in Supporting Teachers and Learning in schools. I started to work in Education around 10 years ago mainly supporting children with SEND and SEMH needs. I am passionate about working with children, especially supporting their emotional needs. I also love teaching children about my language and culture which lead me to create my own Spanish school so I can teach Spanish to young children in our community.

  • Ms Deborah Warren, BA (Hons) - Learning Support Assistant

I graduated from the University of the West of England with a degree in English Literature and have thoroughly enjoyed working at Orchard for many years, supporting the learning progress of our students.  I am trained and experienced in delivering Switch-On and Rapid Read programmes to develop literacy and oracy skills. 

  • Mrs Kate Jinadu, BA (Hons), PGCE - Learning Support Assistant

After graduating with a degree in French, I specialised in Early Years taking a PGCE in Primary Education.  I taught French in Primary schools for several years before entering Secondary School education as an LSA. I’m trained to deliver ‘Sound Training’, ‘Inference Training’ and ‘Switch on’ for English Interventions. My preferred subjects are English and RE but I also love languages and music. I am currently studying a Masters in Theology.


If you wish to contact our SEND Co-ordinator, Ms Rebecca Shepherd please email: rshepherd@orchard.tila.school 


Any complaints regarding the SEN support provided by the school will be handled in line with our Complaints policy, which can be found on our Policies page.