A resource base provides specialist provision within a mainstream school. Here at Cherry Orchard we are fortunate to have a 16 place resource base catering for children diagnosed with autism.
Admissions to the Resource Base are entirely separate from places in the main school, and are made through Birmingham’s Special Educational Needs Admissions Team.
The resource base children are taught in a range of specialist provision as well as alongside their mainstream peers in class, where appropriate for the individual.
We have a dedicated autism friendly teaching environments for KS1, and for KS2. The children also access a language room, a sensory room and an outdoor sensory garden to support their needs.
- Diagnosis of ASC as primary need
- SENAR agreed provision
- Parental preference
- Cherry Orchard Primary School/Governor agreement
We aim to have a maximum of 3-4 pupils per year group to allow for successful integration into mainstream classes.
Resource Base Staff
- Teacher - Ms S Thorpe
- TA - Mrs Uwagboe
- TA - Mrs Dunn
- TA - Mrs Uppal
- TA - Miss Sterling
- TA - Mrs Moosa
- Pupil and School Support (PSS)
- Educational Psychology Services (EPS)
- Communication and Autism Team (CAT)
- Speech and Language Therapists (SALT)
- Occupational Therapists (OT)
The Resource Base has a visiting Speech and Language therapist for half a day per week, who works with the pupils. The Therapist and staff liaise closely regarding the pupils’ targets to ensure these are incorporated within daily teaching and interventions.
The Resource Base also has other visiting school support professionals who work with children in a range of ways, which include both direct and indirect input. This enables targets to be completed throughout the school day to support children’s access to their education.
In the Resource Base we also aim to support the children’s physical and OT needs. There are regular movement breaks with specific exercises given from the visiting occupational therapist, which includes the Daily Mile and fine motor activities and resources to support writing skills and co-ordination.
The Resource Base works closely with Birmingham’s Educational Psychology and Communication and Autism teams, where a specific psychologist is allocated to the school for regular liaison and review of pupils’ progress.
Teaching and Curriculum
As our provision is for pupils who have a diagnosis of Autism, The Resource Base is designed to provide a structured environment that is welcoming and inclusive. The staff team strives to give the pupils the maximum level of independence that they can achieve.
All pupils have access to core subjects (Maths, English and Science) and the Foundation subjects (all other subjects). We use a topic-based approach to learning, which engages children and helps them to build skills in learning and thinking.
The method of teaching within the Resource Base is based on the learning being engaging and motivating. The children are taught from the Primary National Curriculum, using a differentiated approach adapted to the individual needs.
In the Resource Base, we also strive to enhance pupil’s social and emotional development through specific PSHE and life skills sessions. We incorporate programmes such as Pragmatics and LEGO therapy into daily practice. The pupils have the opportunity to attend weekly swimming in Year 5, and all resource base pupils enjoy a weekly PE session either within their mainstream class or with our visiting ASD trained sports coach from West Bromwich Academy.
Members of the resource base staff are available during the lunch break to support pupils' social interaction during less structured times.
Access to mainstream lessons
The school is also committed to adopting an inclusive approach in all aspects of its work. We believe that, where it is suitable for an individual learner in the Resource Base, access to mainstream classes can help to promote independence and social awareness. This can take several forms: shared playtimes, lunchtimes, assemblies and trips, as well as participation in selected mainstream lessons and clubs. All learners have the opportunity to be included in this way across the school. Our resource base is part of the main school building, not set apart from it, and we seek to ensure that our practice reflects that.
Regular teacher assessments take place, which allow for close monitoring of the pupils’ academic progress, social and personal development.
For each child, a support plan is also drawn up. This support plan draws on the outcomes outlined in each pupil’s EHCP. The targets are devised and reviewed in consultation with parents on a termly basis.
Communication with parents
We believe collaboration with parents and carers is key to ensuring the best possible outcomes for pupils. As many of the children travel to school each day on Birmingham transport, home/school communication books provide an opportunity for parents and staff to communicate on a regular basis. We also welcome parents and carers to telephone or email the school. In addition to the statutory Education, Health and Care Plan Annual Review meeting, termly parent meetings are held to discuss each child’s progress.