Cherry Garden Outreach Support Service (COSS)

Cherry Garden is an outward looking school.  We don’t want to keep everything to ourselves that we have learnt about the best ways to support, develop, motivate and engage with children with SEN, we want to share it as widely as we can.  There is a real need for this sharing of knowledge, as children with increasingly complex needs are being educated in mainstream schools.  

We therefore have a small team of two specialist outreach teachers to support mainstream teachers, TAs and SENCOs with meeting these children’s needs and making inclusion work really well for them. We are based at Cherry Garden, and run training and some group sessions there.  

We offer support to children in mainstream schools who have SEN and are working significantly below their peers.  They may have a range of needs, including Down’s Syndrome, chromosomal disorders or Global Delay (please note that pupils with autism are supported by the Autism Support Team).    

Anna Parsons is seconded by Southwark for three days a week to go into mainstream schools for blocks of support for individual children, and group children together for targeted group support where appropriate. Shona Morgan is the Outreach Leader, developing and running the training programmes and support. The outreach service is available to all maintained primary schools.

Learning portal

Our learning portal has lots of great ideas for teaching strategies for schools and activity ideas for home. We regularly update this area with new articles and resources, sharing our knowledge of supporting pupils both at school and in the home.

Latest articles

MOVE

What is the MOVE Programme?

Mainstream school outreach

The support given varies depending on the needs of the child and the school, and may include any of the following:

  • Observation and consultation: getting a picture of the child and discussing with the Inclusion Manager, Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, teacher and support staff strategies which would further support their learning.
  • Modelling and coaching: introducing strategies, programmes or types of activity that will support the child, and training support staff in using them effectively.
  • In School Training: the outreach teacher may offer training directly to the school or refer them to the training programme at Cherry Garden.
  • Training:  a range of courses are offered throughout the year.  For further information see below.
  • Planning: planning individually for the child with the teacher, based on individual targets for the child.
  • Assessment: especially using the Cherry Garden Branch Map assessment system, which many schools across Southwark are adopting in place of the old P Levels.
  • Inclusion: involving the child in collaborative work with peers.
  • Working with other professionals: e.g. working collaboratively with the speech and language therapist on a child’s communication.
  • Input into Annual Reviews or Team Around the Child meetings.
  • Supporting transition from nursery to school and between key stages.
  • Specialist groups: see below

The support is generally given in a block of visits, but the teacher may return to see the child at a later date at the request of the school, for example, to support with transition to the next year group. The outreach teacher’s records of their visits are shared with the school and the local authority, and the schools can also pass them on to the parents or use them to input into a child’s Education, Health and Care Plan.

How to refer a child for support

Please do get in touch with us if you have any questions or would like any kind of support or training from us.  If you want training that we are not currently running, email us and we will see if we can help!

If you are a school SENCO and you would like to refer a particular child for support, please fill in this ‘Request for Support’ form and return it to Anna Parsons by email.

Children can also be referred to the outreach team through Southwark’s SEN department.
All referrals are subject to approval by Southwark’s SEN department and need parental approval.
(NB: support for autistic children is provided through Southwark’s Autism Support Team, so any referrals for children on the ASC spectrum should go to them).

Specialist groups

Blast Off

The COSS outreach teacher runs several groups in order to bring together children from different schools with similar needs. Currently running are:

Anna runs two groups for children with Down’s Syndrome in mainstream schools on Friday mornings at Cherry Garden. The children attend the group at Cherry Garden, with their TA, three times per half term. The sessions focus on language and communication (including Makaton signing and singing), social skills and sensory play. 

Anna trains the Teaching Assistants to run Blast Off back at school with the child and a small group of their friends and gives them each a pack of resources so that they have everything they need to run it.

If your child has Down’s Syndrome, is in a mainstream Southwark primary school, and is not part of Blast Off, please email Anna Parsons.

Life Skills

Anna runs two groups for children in Upper KS2 in mainstream schools who are struggling to access the curriculum and need support to work on their Life Skills. The groups are on Wednesdays, one in Peckham and one in Canada Water.  They practise skills such as ordering in a café, using money and getting change, finding items from a list in the supermarket, making decisions when they shop, using the self -checkout, and following a recipe to cook with a small group of peers back at school.

Do you have a child in Y5 or 6, with an EHCP in a mainstream primary school who needs to practise these life skills?  If so, email Anna to check if there are any spaces in the groups.

‘Sharing Cherries’ Project

As of January 2020, we have made an exciting new link with our local maintained nursery school federation in Peckham, Ann Bernadt and Nell Gwynn Nurseries.  Every Wednesday afternoon, two staff from Cherry Garden are swapping with two staff from the nurseries, in order to learn and develop professionally. The staff from the nurseries come to Cherry Garden to learn more about SEN strategies and approaches that they can use with their children in nursery, and the Cherry Garden staff are looking at planning in the moment and child-led learning.

Parent Support Advisor

Our parent support advisor arranges regular ‘Cherry Chat’ mornings for parents to get together and create a support network for parents. There are also regular training sessions organised for parents on a range of topics such as toileting, sensory play, sleep routines, Makaton and communication. These are all free to attend for our parents.

As well as our open door policy across the school, there are organised class mornings for parents to attend their child’s class and share in their learning activities. The parent language project provides learning activities for home which are sent out to parents weekly and then returned to school to be swapped with a new pack.

As well as group events, the Parent Support Advisor is also available for 1:1 consultations to help parents with filling in application forms, applying for support from outside agencies or making resources such as symbols for home. Parents can contact the school to arrange a time to come in for support.

SENsational Stay and Play

This is so much more than just a stay and play!  It is an exciting collaboration between Cherry Garden School, the maintained nursery schools in Southwark, and KIDS. The Assistant Head leader has the oversight of it, and it is run weekly by staff from Cherry Garden, the nursery schools and KIDS.

As well as being a lot of fun for the children, it is a great opportunity for the parents to support each other.  During the session, the staff take observations of the children and create a learning journey for them, making assessments against the Cherry Garden Branch Maps. For many families, this is valuable evidence that they would not otherwise have, to enable them to apply for an EHCP for the child while they are still under 5.

Down’s Reading Project

We launched this project in January 2020, with the ambitious aim to get all children with Down’s Syndrome in Southwark primary schools reading this year.  Children with Down’s Syndrome in Cherry Garden and mainstream Southwark schools are all using the same approach.  We are using a research-based approach that has been proven to work well with children with Down’s Syndrome (it starts with learning high-meaning sight words that are quickly transferred to sentences and personalised books).

We ran a workshop for parents, and another one for professionals, to launch the project and will run follow up workshops later in the year.  The teachers and TAs are part of an email group together.

Training

We offer a range of training courses throughout the year, with the aim of sharing with mainstream schools some of what we do at Cherry Garden.

We try to keep the cost of courses as low as possible (or even, in the case of twilight moderation sessions or Makaton refreshers, free) so that we can share our practice and expertise in SEN as widely as possible.

Courses vary. Click here for the up to date list.

We regularly run the following:

  • Branch Map Assessment training: Branch Maps is a new assessment system, developed by Cherry Garden and available absolutely free to other schools in paper form, or electronically via the app Tapestry.  Teachers are finding it child-centred, well devised and excellent for ongoing formative assessment and target setting, and it is already being used across Southwark and in different parts of the country as well.  We regularly run a half day training in Branch Maps, and host twilight moderation sessions for teachers to come together to talk about specific children, to support each other and check consistency of their assessments.
  • Branch Map project: This is a funded project where a group of schools are receiving more in-depth support and training around using Branch Maps.
  • Makaton training: Both members of our outreach team are qualified Makaton Tutors. Weregularly deliver training (Level 1, 2 and Refreshers, and sometimes more advanced training as well) to professionals and parents.
  • SEN Toolkit training: A really practical course, giving teachers a chance to learn strategies to enhance language and communication, independent learning, planning and assessment, and to see these strategies in place by spending time in a Cherry Garden class.
  • Cherry Experience Mornings: aimed at TAs in mainstream schools.  This is an opportunity for them to receive some training in SEN provision and what we do here at Cherry, as well as spending time in a Cherry Garden class to see those things in action, and give them ideas that they can take back to school.

For all training courses, please book online here.

Training events
< 2020 >
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Support for schools

Mainstream school outreach

The support given varies depending on the needs of the child and the school, and may include any of the following:

  • Observation and consultation: getting a picture of the child and discussing with the Inclusion Manager, Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, teacher and support staff strategies which would further support their learning.
  • Modelling and coaching: introducing strategies, programmes or types of activity that will support the child, and training support staff in using them effectively.
  • In School Training: the outreach teacher may offer training directly to the school or refer them to the training programme at Cherry Garden.
  • Training:  a range of courses are offered throughout the year.  For further information see below.
  • Planning: planning individually for the child with the teacher, based on individual targets for the child.
  • Assessment: especially using the Cherry Garden Branch Map assessment system, which many schools across Southwark are adopting in place of the old P Levels.
  • Inclusion: involving the child in collaborative work with peers.
  • Working with other professionals: e.g. working collaboratively with the speech and language therapist on a child’s communication.
  • Input into Annual Reviews or Team Around the Child meetings.
  • Supporting transition from nursery to school and between key stages.
  • Specialist groups: see below

The support is generally given in a block of visits, but the teacher may return to see the child at a later date at the request of the school, for example, to support with transition to the next year group. The outreach teacher’s records of their visits are shared with the school and the local authority, and the schools can also pass them on to the parents or use them to input into a child’s Education, Health and Care Plan.

How to refer a child for support

Please do get in touch with us if you have any questions or would like any kind of support or training from us.  If you want training that we are not currently running, email us and we will see if we can help!

If you are a school SENCO and you would like to refer a particular child for support, please fill in this ‘Request for Support’ form and return it to Anna Parsons by email.

Children can also be referred to the outreach team through Southwark’s SEN department.
All referrals are subject to approval by Southwark’s SEN department and need parental approval.
(NB: support for autistic children is provided through Southwark’s Autism Support Team, so any referrals for children on the ASC spectrum should go to them).

Specialist groups

Blast Off

The COSS outreach teacher runs several groups in order to bring together children from different schools with similar needs. Currently running are:

Anna runs two groups for children with Down’s Syndrome in mainstream schools on Friday mornings at Cherry Garden. The children attend the group at Cherry Garden, with their TA, three times per half term. The sessions focus on language and communication (including Makaton signing and singing), social skills and sensory play. 

Anna trains the Teaching Assistants to run Blast Off back at school with the child and a small group of their friends and gives them each a pack of resources so that they have everything they need to run it.

If your child has Down’s Syndrome, is in a mainstream Southwark primary school, and is not part of Blast Off, please email Anna Parsons.

Life Skills

Anna runs two groups for children in Upper KS2 in mainstream schools who are struggling to access the curriculum and need support to work on their Life Skills. The groups are on Wednesdays, one in Peckham and one in Canada Water.  They practise skills such as ordering in a café, using money and getting change, finding items from a list in the supermarket, making decisions when they shop, using the self -checkout, and following a recipe to cook with a small group of peers back at school.

Do you have a child in Y5 or 6, with an EHCP in a mainstream primary school who needs to practise these life skills?  If so, email Anna to check if there are any spaces in the groups.

‘Sharing Cherries’ Project

As of January 2020, we have made an exciting new link with our local maintained nursery school federation in Peckham, Ann Bernadt and Nell Gwynn Nurseries.  Every Wednesday afternoon, two staff from Cherry Garden are swapping with two staff from the nurseries, in order to learn and develop professionally. The staff from the nurseries come to Cherry Garden to learn more about SEN strategies and approaches that they can use with their children in nursery, and the Cherry Garden staff are looking at planning in the moment and child-led learning.

Support for parents

Parent Support Advisor

Our parent support advisor arranges regular ‘Cherry Chat’ mornings for parents to get together and create a support network for parents. There are also regular training sessions organised for parents on a range of topics such as toileting, sensory play, sleep routines, Makaton and communication. These are all free to attend for our parents.

As well as our open door policy across the school, there are organised class mornings for parents to attend their child’s class and share in their learning activities. The parent language project provides learning activities for home which are sent out to parents weekly and then returned to school to be swapped with a new pack.

As well as group events, the Parent Support Advisor is also available for 1:1 consultations to help parents with filling in application forms, applying for support from outside agencies or making resources such as symbols for home. Parents can contact the school to arrange a time to come in for support.

SENsational Stay and Play

This is so much more than just a stay and play!  It is an exciting collaboration between Cherry Garden School, the maintained nursery schools in Southwark, and KIDS. The Assistant Head leader has the oversight of it, and it is run weekly by staff from Cherry Garden, the nursery schools and KIDS.

As well as being a lot of fun for the children, it is a great opportunity for the parents to support each other.  During the session, the staff take observations of the children and create a learning journey for them, making assessments against the Cherry Garden Branch Maps. For many families, this is valuable evidence that they would not otherwise have, to enable them to apply for an EHCP for the child while they are still under 5.

Down’s Reading Project

We launched this project in January 2020, with the ambitious aim to get all children with Down’s Syndrome in Southwark primary schools reading this year.  Children with Down’s Syndrome in Cherry Garden and mainstream Southwark schools are all using the same approach.  We are using a research-based approach that has been proven to work well with children with Down’s Syndrome (it starts with learning high-meaning sight words that are quickly transferred to sentences and personalised books).

We ran a workshop for parents, and another one for professionals, to launch the project and will run follow up workshops later in the year.  The teachers and TAs are part of an email group together.

Training

Training

We offer a range of training courses throughout the year, with the aim of sharing with mainstream schools some of what we do at Cherry Garden.

We try to keep the cost of courses as low as possible (or even, in the case of twilight moderation sessions or Makaton refreshers, free) so that we can share our practice and expertise in SEN as widely as possible.

Courses vary. Click here for the up to date list.

We regularly run the following:

  • Branch Map Assessment training: Branch Maps is a new assessment system, developed by Cherry Garden and available absolutely free to other schools in paper form, or electronically via the app Tapestry.  Teachers are finding it child-centred, well devised and excellent for ongoing formative assessment and target setting, and it is already being used across Southwark and in different parts of the country as well.  We regularly run a half day training in Branch Maps, and host twilight moderation sessions for teachers to come together to talk about specific children, to support each other and check consistency of their assessments.
  • Branch Map project: This is a funded project where a group of schools are receiving more in-depth support and training around using Branch Maps.
  • Makaton training: Both members of our outreach team are qualified Makaton Tutors. Weregularly deliver training (Level 1, 2 and Refreshers, and sometimes more advanced training as well) to professionals and parents.
  • SEN Toolkit training: A really practical course, giving teachers a chance to learn strategies to enhance language and communication, independent learning, planning and assessment, and to see these strategies in place by spending time in a Cherry Garden class.
  • Cherry Experience Mornings: aimed at TAs in mainstream schools.  This is an opportunity for them to receive some training in SEN provision and what we do here at Cherry, as well as spending time in a Cherry Garden class to see those things in action, and give them ideas that they can take back to school.

For all training courses, please book online here.

Training events
< 2020 >
August
«
»
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun
July
July
July
July
July
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
September
September
September
September
September
September
Training events
< 2020 >
August
«
»
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun
July
July
July
July
July
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
September
September
September
September
September
September