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Resource Base

A resource base is a specialist provision within a mainstream school. 

Here at Cherry Orchard we have a 15 place resource base catering for children diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Condition (formerly Autistic Spectrum Disorder). 

Depending on age and their ability to cope in a mainstream classroom, the children are taught in a range of specialist rooms as well as alongside their mainstream peers in class. 

In Early Years and KS1 there is a dedicated ASC specific teaching room, a language room and our very popular sensory room. 

In KS2 we have our larger Cherry Room which provides a dedicated ASC friendly environment including a larger Dark Den for those times when everything gets a little too much. 

Our aim is to support and enable our pupils to strive to achieve their full potential and return to mainstream provision. We do this through careful assessment, individualised teaching approaches and close monitoring. 

All of our resource base children are taught English and Maths in small groups within the resource base suite of rooms. During the afternoons children access their mainstream classes as much as possible, depending on their ability to do so. This may include extra adult support where necessary. As language development is at the core of much of what we do we have commissioned the services of a Speech and Language Therapist for half a day each week. We also have specific language intervention such as WellComm ( A Speech and Language Toolkit for screening and Intervention in the Early Years). As well as pre-tutoring, visual support and dedicated IT. 

The curriculum is adapted as necessary to meet the social, emotional and educational needs of the pupils. 


We work closely with parents as well as outside agencies that may include: 

Pupil and School Support(PSS) 

Educational Psychology Services (EPS) 

Communication and Autism Team (CAT) 

Speech and Language Therapists (SALT) 

Occupational Therapists (OT) 

At Cherry Orchard our children are at the heart of everything we do. We aim to incorporate children’s interests and strengths to help them overcome some of their challenges. We recognise that anxiety around social interaction and change may have a negative impact on a child’s learning and therefore use a range of strategies to support them in overcoming this. This may include social stories, social group intervention and activities to reduce stress and anxiety. 

All children have a One Page Profile that that includes their strengths as well as areas of support. Each class teacher will have a copy of the profile to ensure that their provision meets the pupil’s needs. All classrooms have visual timetables as standard and a range of strategies are used including, Now/Next, task boards, task slicing, visual prompts. Each child has a home/school diary to facilitate communication, particularly for those children that access transport to school. A member of the resource base staff will be available during lunch time to support pupils during less structured times. KS2 pupils have access to Lego Club during lunch time at least weekly. 

The environment is key to many pupils with ASC. We aim to ensure our environments are as ASC friendly as possible liaising with members of CAT as well as reference to individual Statements and EHCs. We are working closely with outside agencies to develop sensory programmes to address individual needs. 


KS1 – Miss C. Smith HLTA 

Mrs N. Uwagboe TA 

Miss M. Riley TA 

KS2 – Mrs J. Smith Teacher in Charge 

Mrs H. McIllwain Teacher

Miss N. Sterling TA 

Mrs A. Uppal TA


Speech and Language Therapist ½ day per week 

Occupational Therapist ½ day every 2 weeks to support the development of sensory programmes and individual OT support 


Staff in school are trained to at least Level 1 AET. The majority have had Level 2 training. 

Resource Base staff have had at least Level 2 AET (Mrs J. Smith, Miss C. Smith, Miss N. Sterling Level 3) They also provide support to mainstream staff through informal consultations, formal training opportunities and liaison with Lead Practitioners (Mrs J. Smith, Miss C. Smith and Miss N. Sterling) as well as observations and targeted support in class. 

Resource Base staff work closely with their mainstream colleagues to support the integration of our pupils. 

Through the AHT for Inclusion (Teacher in Charge of the Resource Base) we have close links with local schools through SENCo Support Networks and through city wide initiatives to inform current practices and knowledge. 

Future developments 

Sensory garden – the site is currently used as a wildlife area to the rear of the Early Years playground. 

Makaton – currently Mrs J. Smith is Makaton trained. All EYFS/KS1 Resource Base staff to receive training initially, followed by EYFS mainstream staff. 


Criteria: Statement/EHCP 

Diagnosis of ASC as primary need 

SENAR agreed provision 

Parental preference 

Cherry Orchard Primary School/Governor agreement 

We aim to have a maximum of 2-3 pupils per year group to allow for successful integration into mainstream classes