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The Cherry Tree Room Mission Statement

“The emphasis within a nurture group is on emotional growth, focusing on offering broad-based experiences in an environment that promotes security, routines, clear boundaries and carefully planned, repetitive learning opportunities. The aim of the nurture group is to create the world of earliest childhood, build in the basic and essential learning experiences normally gained in the first three years of life and enable children to fully meet their potential in mainstream schools.” (Boxall, 2010).

The Cherry Tree Room is a Nurture Group facility based in Rectory Farm Primary School. We aim to provide a flexible, early intervention resource which is responsive to children’s needs in terms of their social and emotional wellbeing. We do this by providing learning experiences at a child’s developmental stage, with a focus on play, emotional literacy and social skills.

The Principles Underpinning the Cherry Tree Room

  • Children’s learning is understood developmentally: taught lessons are included, but structured play activities appropriate to a child’s developmental level are an important part too.
  • The Classroom offers a ‘safe base’: the day is clearly structured and adults are reliable, firm and consistent. Adults aim to understand each child individually (what works for one doesn’t work for another).
  • The importance of nurture for the development for wellbeing: activities through which we can achieve this include cooking, having meals together, sensory circuits, Lego therapy and associative and co-operative play.
  • Language is a vital means of communication: children take part in circle time and snack to support communication. Children are spoken to and never “about/over”. Children are encouraged to communicate feelings with their spoken language.
  • All behaviour is communication: We look at why something has/is happening and support children to communicate difficult feelings in positive ways. Behaviour contains a message that needs to be interpreted.
  • The importance of transition in children’s lives: Adults are always available to support at these times, supporting children to settle and understand change.

Identifying Children

Any of these might indicate a child who would benefit from the Cherry Tree Room. More often than not it is a combination of these plus your own instincts.

  • A child who is withdrawn and difficult to engage.
  • A child whose behaviour is continually disruptive.
  • A child whose sense of wellbeing is poor and self-esteem is very low.
  • A child who struggles to interact socially with adults and peers.
  • A child who seeks attention constantly but is never satisfied.
  • A child who is frequently late or absent.
  • A bright child who may not be emotionally secure.
  • A child who hasn’t developed basic skills needed to function productively in their class- immature, poor concentration, poor organisational skills and communication skills.

Protocol for selection of children entering the Cherry Tree Room

  • Class teachers and teaching assistants identify pupils about whom they have concerns: ‘children whose social, emotional, behavioural and formal learning needs are not being met in their main class’ Boxall
  • Teaching staff will complete a Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) for every child. If the child falls in the abnormal range, a Boxall Profile is completed by a member of staff that knows the child best and nurture staff can support if necessary.
  • Boxall Profiles can still be completed if there is cause for concern amongst even if their SDQ’s fall within the normal range.
  • The Boxall Profiles are then used to identify children whose needs are greatest at any particular point in time. The Cherry Tree Room provision varies in length of stay for a child- anything between 1-3 terms is normal. This means there can be movement of children in and out of the group depending on a child’s progress the Cherry Tree Room staff, SLT, class teachers and teaching assistants work together. They need to consider children with greatest need and whether the group will be balanced with a range of nurturing needs.
  • Parents and carers of the child will be kept informed about the child’s selection and progress within the Cherry Tree Room.

 The importance of play within the Cherry Tree Room

Playing is integral to children’s enjoyment of their lives, their health and their development. The right to play and informal recreation, for all children and young people is outlined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: Article 31. The functions of play are to:

  • Experience fun and joy
  • Develop personality and sense of self
  • Develop creativity and imagination
  • Develop problem solving skills
  • Learn relationships and social skills
  • Form a basis for learning language, thinking and reasoning skills

Behaviour

Positive behaviour will be rewarded using our Treasure reward system. Positive behaviours include

  • Acts of kindness
  • Good work ethic
  • Positive interactions
  • Sharing
  • Showing empathy
  • Concentration

Once a child receives 50 pieces of treasure they can pick a small gift from the Cherry Tree box. Once they reach 100 pieces they will paint their own mug which they will use during snack time. After each additional 50 pieces they will be rewarded from the Cherry Tree box. This will run alongside the schools behaviour policy, using the rainbow coloured chart for positive and negative behaviours.

Transition Policy

We intend to help all children attain the highest level of achievement of which they are capable and to be able to function successfully within their mainstream class. This will require a balance of nurture group activities with the Cherry Tree Room and the children spending increased time in their mainstream classroom. A systematic and planned approach is required. The teaching staff, support staff and nurture group staff need to work in partnership to ensure that parents have a clear understanding about the transition process.

Plan for transition

  • The Cherry Tree room staff to organise, carry out and record appropriate assessments.
  • The Cherry Tree room staff to meet with parents to discuss the aims of transition.
  • Class teacher, support staff and the SLT to be fully kept fully informed.
  • The days pupils attend the Cherry Tree room to reduce through their last term.

SEND Policies

# Title Description Download
Inclusion Policy Download