How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

Our curriculum at Cherry Garden is based on providing child-centred, individualised learning opportunities for all children through a play-based provision.

Cherry Garden Child Centred Curriculum aims to be:
1. MOTIVATING – pupils learn when they are interested, stimulated and engaged.
2. RELEVANT- relevant to the learning levels of the pupils, functional and takes into account their prior knowledge.
3. CHALLENGING – Suitably high and realistic expectations are held by everyone in the team, and inclusive yet differentiated teaching is used to ensure progress for all pupils.

Individual Education Plans are central to all aspects of provision and link closely to long term goals in the child’s ‘Education, Health and Care plan’.
Our child centred curriculum promotes respect for each child as an individual, emphasising the four core development areas of Communication, Personal, Physical and Cognitive skills. JAM (Just About Me) goals, derived from EHCP short term and long term aims, are integrated into these curriculum areas to meet the needs of the individual pupils.
Pupils on the Exploratory curriculum will focus on the four core areas, with opportunities to develop and generalise skills across all six areas of learning. Pupils working at the Discovery and Investigatory curriculum levels are taught through the six areas of Learning as shown in the diagram below. Children work on JAM (Just About Me) goals related to each curriculum area. The number of goals each child is working on is dependent on which curriculum pathway they are following. All children also have a special JAM wish – which is a goal focused on their wellbeing and what they would like to do or learn that half term. Where practical and meaningful, children are involved in deciding these goals themselves.

Behaviour Support

We recognise the importance of children regulating their own behaviour. We have a behaviour management policy that promotes a holistic approach to help children learn appropriate behaviour and regulation strategies. The school aims to help pupils develop a sense of achievement, value and self-respect, as well as respect for others.
All staff use positive behaviour management strategies, such as:
• Praise and Rewards
• Reasoning
• Setting clear limits and expectations
• Consistency of approach
• Avoiding confrontations
• Distractions
• High expectations of achievement
• Individual behaviour plans
• Using a range of communicative strategies
Specialised approaches to support positive behaviour for learning are used throughout the day, i.e.
o Use of strong motivators
o ‘Make a deal’ reward system
o Individual timetables or Now and Next
o Sensory diets
o Intensive interaction
o Positive physical handling (CPI)


A total communication approach is used throughout the school and Cherry Garden excels in meeting the wide range of communicative needs across the school. The types of strategies used are: • Objects of reference • Pictures • Symbols • PECS • Eye gaze • Intensive interaction • Communication books • PODD • Touch cues • Makaton • Verbal language programmes
Much of the support in communication takes place throughout the day and in additional specialist groups and specialised one-to-one programmes.

Social Skills/Independence Skills

There is a strong focus on developing pupils’ social and independence skills from day one. Pupils are encouraged to play an active role in their self-care wherever possible, such as dressing, eating, drinking, washing and using the toilet. As pupils progress, there are higher expectations for pupils to tidy up after activities, take part in jobs around the school, walk independently in the community and experience using public transport. These and many more milestones are achieved incrementally with sensitive support from adults who know the pupils well.

The Arts

We are passionate about creative arts in the school and work in partnership with other organisations to enhance the provision for our pupils. Currently, we work with several local arts providers and work on collaborative art projects with other schools. All children have weekly movement and music sessions and we work in partnership with Southwark Music Hub.


The MOVE programme is run by a small influential charity called the MOVE Partnership, and is a practical mobility programme based around the philosophy that movement is the foundation for learning. The MOVE programme uses the combined knowledge of the family, carers, education and therapy team. It is designed to teach anyone who has not learnt to sit, stand, walk or transfer by the age they would expect to, or those who have lost these skills, to increase their independent mobility to the best of their ability.