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What We Offer

Education Psychology Assessment

To assist us in knowing what our pupils need to help them learn, we commission an Education Psychologist to do an up to date Education Psychology Assessment for each new pupil. The results of the Assessment help us to ensure the right strategies are in place and to refer to other professionals if needed. The results are also shared with other appropriate professionals to ensure cohesive working.

School Counsellor

To complement our therapeutic education provision, we commission our own school counsellor for pupils to access weekly, or fortnightly should they wish to do so.

Our counsellor has a range of experience working with children who have mental health issues, attachment difficulties and who have experienced trauma and is also a member of the BACP.

The pupils will have a choice as to whether they would like to see the counsellor or not, so the option is entirely theirs and will be offered on the day. The sessions are confidential between the pupil and the counsellor, unless any safeguarding / child protection concerns are raised.

We would not want our service to interfere with any other therapeutic input the pupils may be having so we will liaise with all agencies concerned to ensure the best possible outcomes for our pupils.

Out of Hours Support

Sometimes parents and carers may feel that they would benefit from extra support if they have concerns about a young person. Sometimes, when it is out of hours, it can be hard to get anyone on the end of a phone. If a parent or carer feels that they are experiencing a particularly difficult time they can contact the headteacher or School Operations Manager to discuss whether some extra phone contact outside of hours would be beneficial in helping towards positive change.

EHC Plans

Cherry Tree caters mainly for those pupils whose needs are not currently being met by either a mainstream, special or independent school within the area that they live. Most pupils who have complex and additional needs to help them learn will already have an Education and Health Care Plan. However, to ensure that those who need an EHC Plan have one, we offer to take the lead on pulling all information together to complete the relevant documents to ensure pupil’s needs are outlined, recorded and reviewed. Cherry Tree staff have a vast amount of experience of working closely with colleagues in Local Authorities and relevant departments to ensure this work is completed smoothly and efficiently.

We ensure that an experienced member of staff will lead any EHC Plan meetings and or reviews.

All pupils also have an Individual Education Plan that will work alongside all other relevant educational documents and will be reviewed either termly or bi-termly depending on the needs of the individual

Pupil Premium

Pupil Premium received and allocated throughout 2019-2020 is listed below.

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Pupil Premium Impact on Pupils 2019-2020

Our bi-termly data demonstrates how all of our pupils are progressing in their academic skills and their personal and social development. All pupils have Individual Education Plans, learning and behaviour strategies which enable them to progress and achieve to the best of their ability.

The use of pupil premium has enabled extra curriculum activities and or the purchase of extra equipment and resources to enrich their learning.

A whole school evaluation of the impact of the pupil premium funded activities was carried out at the end of 2019-2020 and the following are sample responses from our pupils:

Over the last year you had access to various after-school activities – how did this affect your social skills / interaction with others?

"It has helped me work in groups. It has helped me work on my giggling and made me calmer because I enjoy it and am put at ease."

"It made me more talkable and made me more understanding of my friends."

"Before I came to Cherry Tree, I was quiet and I am now more confident in general."

"It helped me socialise again as I did not go out when I first came to Margate. It helped my confidence around others."

Over the last year you had access to various equipment e.g. iPads / individual laptops – how did this affect your academic learning?

"I am able to do more because they are a good education resource."

It was okay to have them."

"I went up in loads of subjects. It helped me not to get frustrated with games and helped me at home to not get frustrated and break things."

"It gives me more of a chance to research. I could play games and this helped me calm down at the house over lockdown."

"The iPad was a new thing and it helped me because it was more hands on. I could get more work done on the computer and it was not as hard."

Over the last year you had access to (specific equipment will be listed on each individual pupil answers)– how did this affect your well-being / mental health?

(postcards, upcycling trunk and resources, gardening equipment, iPad) "It is something I enjoy doing. I am in my element and happy when given the opportunity to do it."

(upcycling trunk and resources, iPad) "I enjoy the upcycling."

(drums, after-school club, football cards, iPad) "Talking to Soo and Emma made me feel better and safe."

(engine models, iPads, mechanic models, drum kit, upcycling cabinet) "It has all helped because I have been more patient and it has helped with my attention span. It has also helped me to be more calm."

(iPad, gardening equipment, drums, after-school clubs) "I felt like I had someone to talk to that would listen. It made me a lot calmer."

Over the last year you attended trips / evening events. How did this affect your social skills / interaction with peers?

"I thought it was really lovely and the trips had really good vibes. Everyone attended and everyone enjoyed it. There was lots of laughter. The dancing and singing on stage helped my confidence and I loved it."

"It was good and there was more space."

"I got to be more free. I liked getting awards and watching other people get their awards. It was nice being with my friends outside of the school building and this helped me not to be so nervous in front of everyone."

"The Cherry Tree talent show massively helped my confidence as I never thought I would be able to do it. It was good to be out all together when we went to the cinema and theatre which helped me get to know people more."

"They were new experiences for me. I felt happy that I sung in front of everyone and I achieved something. I enjoyed the cinema and I had never been to a concert before and was a new experience. I interacted with peers better."

Moving On

Some pupils need more time than others to catch up, work through their learning barriers and to be ready to than others. To ensure that Cherry Tree continues to be the right provision for pupils, discussions will take place at every PEP and EHCP review to identify and start planning any future potential moves. This will not only ensure that there is a smooth transition plan in place but that everyone including the child, is involved in the decision making about their future.

Cherry Tree Homework Procedure

  • Your child / ward brings their homework folder home on the Friday of each week.
  • Homework will primarily be review and revision of what has been taught that week to embed their learning.
  • They have four subjects to complete homework for each week: English, Maths, Science and ICT.
  • They shall also have a reading book for each term.
  • Each subject has their own section in the folder containing one plastic sleeve.
  • When the homework is completed, it is to be placed back in the sleeve for that subject.
  • Students will tick and date the homework tracking page on the inside of their folder when they have completed their homework.
  • You can assist your child / ward by explaining the homework and supporting them, but we ask that you do not give any of the answers or do any of the work for them.
  • There is a comments box for you to complete at the end of each week prior to the homework coming back to school.
  • Homework is to be brought back to school every Thursday.
  • Students will receive new homework to bring home the following day (Friday).

Q: What will my child/ward bring home?

A: An A4 homework folder and a reading book.

Each student is expected to read at least one book a term. This will be given to them at the start of term and they are to bring it back at the end of term. Some pupils who are fast readers may be given more than one book. Please let us know should the reading book be finished early. The reading book will be given to the students in a plastic sleeve which also contains a tracking sheet.

Each student shall have their own A4 folder. This folder will be subdivided into the four subjects which the students shall receive homework for: English, Maths, Science and ICT. Each section shall contain one plastic sleeve, for example one plastic sleeve for English homework only, one plastic sleeve for maths homework only etc. When the work is complete it is to go back into the same sleeve.

Q: What day will homework be brought home and taken back to school?

A: Taken home every Friday and returned to school every Thursday

Q: How often should my child do their homework?

A: Approximately 30 minutes a day plus reading.

Your child/ward shall complete approximately 30 minutes of homework a day plus 1 hour a week reading.

Please see an example homework timetable below:

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
EnglishScienceMathsICT30 minutes reading
20 minutes Reading10 minutes reading

Q: As a parent/carer, what am I expected to do?

A: Support and encourage your child / ward to do their homework but please do not help them to work out any answers. This is so that tutors know if your child is able to understand the work or needs extra support. Please complete the comments box before your child / ward brings their homework back to school.

Q: What happens while my pupil is working from home?

A: As a temporary measure, homework with either be hand delivered and collected or will be emailed. This will be agreed with individual parents / carers and may vary from above while the pupil works from home.

Community Engagement

Meaningful community engagement is a way for Cherry Tree to ensure that pupils can enrich and expand on their cultural and diverse experiences. Many of our pupils have experienced difficulties and trauma in the past, and this has often excluded them from participating in helping others. Cherry Tree has a commitment to helping others in the community and our pupils have immersed themselves into making a difference. Since 2018 the pupils have worked hard to raise money and purchase presents, visit and organise activities for a local elderly residential home. Since the lockdown, visits have not been possible, so the pupils have been writing letters, poems and cards to all the residents. Feedback from the care home highlights the huge difference this has made to their daily lives – especially those who do not have any direct family.

Since 2019 Cherry Tree has also made a commitment to sponsoring education provision for a 5-year-old boy who lives in Elaganta Wuas, Kenya. The pupils are communicating with him via letters and pictures and will learn about life in another country where resources and opportunities and scarce. Making a difference can inspire and motivate pupils to be the best of who they are, appreciate what they have and utilise the opportunities open to them.

COVID-19 and Remote Learning Provision

Cherry Tree is committed to remaining open as long as it is safe to do so. As our school is very small in size, we have had several conversations with Public Health England to ensure we can operate as safely as possible. As a result of these discussions, we have implemented an in-depth Risk Assessment to ensure we have everything in place possible to protect our staff and our pupils. The Risk Assessment can be requested via Emma Brown (School Operations Manager) or Joe Sparks (School Office Manager).

We aim to carry out the usual timetable and lessons for all our pupils so that their daily routines remain consistent. For pupils who are unable to come into school, a fulltime remote learning timetable will be implemented. The questions and answers below are intended to provide clarity and transparency to pupils and parents or carers about what to expect from remote education if local restrictions and or circumstances require individual pupils or the entire school to remain at home.

We recognise that pupils who have complex needs may not be able to access remote education without support from adults at home. We acknowledge the difficulties this may place on parents and carers, and we will work hard with you individually to ensure the best possible support is in place for each pupil.

Q: What should my child expect from education in the first few days of being at home?

A pupil’s first few days of being educated remotely might look different from our standard approach, while we take all necessary actions to prepare for a longer period of remote teaching.

Q: What will be taught to my child at home?

A: We will endeavour to teach the same curriculum remotely as we do in school wherever possible and appropriate. However, we may need to make some adaptations in some subjects which will be highlighted in your child’s individual timetable.

Q: How long can I expect work set by the school take my child each day?

We expect that remote education (including remote teaching and independent work) will take pupils broadly the same time a normal school day would take, and all lessons will be detailed in their individual timetables. Homework will still be required outside of normal school hours and is detailed in the Cherry Tree Pupil Homework Information.

Q: How will my child access remote education at home?

Cherry Tree will ensure that all pupils have access to a laptop, an iPad and are able to connect to the internet. Where internet connection is not currently available at home due to finances, we will contact you individually to temporarily pay for this service so your child can access education remotely.

Q: How will my child be taught remotely?

We will use a combination of the following approaches to teach pupils remotely:

live teaching (online lessons); textbooks and reading books sent home; Commercially available websites supporting the teaching of specific subjects or areas including video clips or sequences that will be directed by tutors; printed paper packs produced by tutors.

Q: What are the school’s expectations of pupil engagement and what support is expected of parents / carers?

Pupils engagement will be monitored daily and discussed with you should there be any concerns. We expect you to support the usual routine for your child to enable them to follow the timetable that is designed to replicate their normal school day where possible.

Q: How will you assess my child’s work?

Feedback can take many forms and may not always mean extensive written comments for individual pupils. Our approach to feeding back on pupil work will follow the usual assessment methods we use, including verbal feedback and self-assessment at the end of every core lesson. Formal written feedback in pupil’s workbooks will be carried out on a regular basis when work is collected from home or submitted via email.

Covid-19 and Cherry Tree - Feedback from Parents / Carers and Pupils

"100%, My foster child’s mental health would have suffered severely if the school has not been there to support him. Outstanding and creative work from Soo and Emma for all the ways to get him to smile and engage. I also want to say that it was not only my foster child that was supported here, it was also us that they offered their full and dedicated support to all of us. The entire placement felt strengthened by the school’s support" (Foster carer Jul 2020)

"Just the whole evaluation sums it up of how brilliant the school is and how I am so happy to be here. They done everything they could over the lockdown period to make sure we had everything we needed" (Pupil Jul 2020)

"The resources and academic support received over that period were incredible. They far outweighed the already-high expectations. This shows once again how Cherry Tree school have gone above and beyond for their pupils even in such a testing time" (Carer Jul 2020)

"We were supplied a lot of resources and had our daily contact. I felt I could contact Soo or Emma at any point if I needed to. Nothing more could have been done for us over this period" (Pupil Jul 2020)

"Yeah absolutely, this period has caused difficulties for everyone but the amount of resources that were being sent over during this time was excellent" (Parent Jul 2020)

"The check-ins for emotional support have been robust, consistent and sincere. They have also, most importantly, been personal to our child and centred around their own likes, strengths, weaknesses, worries, hobbies etc. Cherry Tree have always offered additional support for any needs and have continued this process during the lockdown. Once again, they go above and beyond" (Foster carer Jul 2020)

Cherry Tree Lockdown Antics

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Cherry Tree Prospectus

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Consultation and Training for Independent Special Schools

Are you looking to start your own independent school, or do you want to take your school to the next level? Do you need an objective observer to clearly define what you need to do? Do you need to revisit your ethos and intentions and create a more adhesive culture? Do you have a time scale?

Whatever your need, our creative team and ‘can do’ approach can help you. We have many years of experience in setting up schools and provisions, designing and implementing whole school systems, writing policies and procedures and implementing training and support. Our team will work with you to ensure your school can meet its targets and ultimately your pupils can reach their potential.

Some of the areas we can offer consultation and training around are:

  • Bespoke Assessments
  • Reflective Practice and Self-evaluation
  • Whole School Improvements
  • Whole School Assertiveness
  • Behaviour Management Systems and Procedures

Cherry Tree Exams

Since opening in October 2017 to December 2020 the following Functional Skills exams have been taken and passed:

Exam title Number of exams taken Number of exams passed
NCFE Functional Skills English EL1 2 2
NCFE Functional Skills English EL2 4 4
NCFE Functional Skills English EL3 4 4
NCFE Functional Skills English L1 1 1
NCFE Functional Skills Maths EL1 2 2
NCFE Functional Skills Maths EL2 5 5
NCFE Functional Skills Maths EL3 4 4
NCFE Functional Skills MathsL1 1 1
NCFE Functional Skills ICT EL1 1 1
NCFE Functional Skills ICT EL2 4 4
NCFE Functional Skills ICT EL3 2 2

As well as the above Functional Skills, Cherry Tree also offers the following NCFE qualifications at varying levels:

  • Employability Skills
  • Personal and Social Development
  • Creative Crafts (including arts, crafts, gardening and media)