Pre-formal Curriculum Cherry Class

Cherry Class is a specialist class for children with additional or complex special educational needs and disabilities.

The activities and interactions throughout the school day are structured around a highly individual and personalised timetable which is child led and tailored to the child’s needs and interests.

The class has a high adult to child ratio to enable the highest levels of medical, personal and specialist care to each and every child in the class.

Inclusion is a very important part of the learning culture in Cherry Class and identified students may learn best in a dual placement scheme where they access generic classes for curriculum areas such as English, Maths and Science or for social inclusion with other children in their peer group.

Cherry class maintain whole school learning and community values with all children taking part in school experiences such as playtimes and assemblies with support from core staff who help the children to make the most from every opportunity.

In Cherry Class we believe it is the small things that make the biggest differences and we work best as part of a multi-agency team which includes SaLT, OT, School Nurse and Physios. We promote partnership working with parents to ensure all children are happy so that they can learn and enjoy school.

The informal curriculum for children working at the ‘Springboard’ stage or Stages 1-3 focuses on five key areas as outlined below:


Children in Cherry Class all have identified communication approaches personalised to their needs. We use a range of approaches from objects of reference, switches, PECS, touch cues, Makaton and AAC. Communication development permeates all other areas of curriculum and skills are built across the school day.

The adults are trained in using a range of approaches to help the children to be understood and to understand. These include musical cues, symbols, gesture, tone of voice, Makaton and objects of reference.

Communication between home and school is very important. To ensure that the children can share with their family how their day has been, each child has a home/school folder which contains a daily sheet, seizure charts, topic web and timetable. Parents are consulted as to which style of communication is most suitable for their family.

Cognition and Learning

Springboard – Communication, Science (Sc2, Sc3, Sc4), Computing and Maths

Stages 1-3 Core subjects; English (Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing) Maths (MA2 and MA3 with embedded MA1), PSED, Computing and Science (Sc1, Sc2, Sc3 and Sc4)

Environmental control technology for access

Knowledge and Understanding of the World

Community, experiences, life-long skills

Physical Development

Hydro, Rebound, Physiotherapy, Independence in mobility, Playtimes, Soft Play

Personal, Social and Sensory Development

Independence – eating and drinking, personal care (toileting, dressing)

Multi-Sensory – light and sound, dark room, resonance and vibration


Expressing and exploring likes and dislikes, high interests

Cherry Class teaching and learning follows a thematic approach which promotes

opportunities for creative development (Art, DT, Music and drama) and for learning about the world we live in (RE, Geography and History) The topics are specifically designed to cover suitable curriculum coverage from the Year 1-2 national guidance. Each theme lasts for one half term and is operated on a three year rolling cycle. The LTP highlights the essential and desirable curriculum based on the child’s level of need and attainment.