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Cherry Tree Primary School and Speech & Language Unit
Holt Drive, CO2 0BG, UK Colchester
+44 (0)1206 575224

Thank you for taking the time to look at our website.

Cherry Tree Primary School and Speech and Language Unit is a happy and developing school which encourages each child to give of their best at all times.  In return we aim to provide everyone of our children an environment which encourages them to develop their skills, understanding and a desire to learn.

We have a highly skilled and professional staff who work hard to ensure that the school is constantly moving forward and adapting to the changes in education.  Our two School Achievement Awards reflect our drive to raise standards in our school.

We have developed our environment in many ways.  The school is no longer open plan and the new classrooms have enhanced the school building.  We have worked on the principles of Accelerated Learning (Alistair Smith) and in doing this we look closely at how we enable each child to get the best out of each lesson.  We are also committed to enabling every child to access learning and we look at ways that we can support all of our children in this.  This is highlighted in our commitment to inclusive education.  We  have a highly effective Learning Support and Pastoral Care team who work together to ensure that all the children can access learning.  We are privileged to have the Speech and Language Centre as part of our school.

This website will give you a glimpse into the life of our school.  Please take a look and contact us if you have any further questions.

Stephen J Hanscombe  Headteacher                


Cherry Tree is a primary day school for boys and girls aged 4 - 11 years.

At present we have 189 pupils in school.  We have 12 teaching staff and a total staff of 42.

Class organisation varies from year to year, as far as possible children are arranged in classes in accordance with their age.  The class teacher is responsible for the children's work although they may, at times, be working with other teachers in other parts of the school.

The school expects pupils to be sensibly dressed and therefore encourages the wearing of simple school uniform.  School sweatshirts and T-shirts are available from the school office.

Winter uniform:

bullet Grey trousers and skirts. (Girls may choose to wear grey or black trousers)
bullet Shirts in grey or white
bullet Jumpers, cardigans or sweatshirts in maroon.
bullet  Ties (optional) in maroon.

Summer uniform:

bullet Boys - Grey trousers or shorts.
bullet              White shirts or T-shirts.
bullet Girls -   Skirts or dresses in a simple style.

Cherry Tree has a number of successful out of school teams.  These include chess, football and netball.


School Vision and Aims

We believe that all children are entitled to the very best education that we can provide, within the resources and time which are available to us.  We will strive to supply each child in every class with a curriculum which is rich, varied, challenging and inspiring, and the conditions in which each individual can fulfil his or her potential to the highest possible standard in every aspect of their lives, but particularly in Numeracy and Literacy.  We aim to make our school a warm, friendly place, creating an atmosphere of trust and enjoyment.

The School Curriculum

We have developed a detailed, long term curriculum framework for Foundation stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.  It lays out clearly concepts, skills, attitudes, processes and National Curriculum 2000 as an entitlement curriculum.  It skilfully links themes and topics so that work is interesting, relative, meaningful and children sense the interrelationship between subjects.  It is a rolling programme planned over a two year period.  We follow the QCA schemes of work, the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies.  Copies are available from the school.  Staff further develop and plan their work to meet the needs of their class, sets and individual pupils through coherent medium and short term planning with clearly identified objectives and learning outcomes.  Detailed assessment and record keeping procedures are in place as are Records of Achievement (samples of pupils work) for every child throughout their school career.  Assessment is a daily activity, which informs planning and is supported by individual pupil target setting.  Staff are always willing to share these processes with parents.


We follow the National Literacy Strategy from Years R - 6 far an hour every day.  Additional work involving Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing is covered through topic work at other times in the day.


We aim to encourage all children to love and use books and to become "readers" .  We believe the real key to reading is through partnership with parents and encourage all children to take a reading book home every day.


Assessment is fundamental in our school as a method of gathering reliable and systematic information about a child's progress in order to inform the next stage of developmental progress.  We regularly observe, monitor and record progress and achievement.  At the end of each Key Stage the children are formally assessed, in addition children take part in QCA National testing, NFER maths assessments< Birmingham reading assessments and standardised reading tests.

Target Setting

Children are required to regularly set achievable targets to indicate progress made and to identify future learning goals.  These targets encourage the children to be self evaluative about their own learning needs.

Record Keeping

Our record keeping system begins on entry to school in the Foundation Stage with the Essex baseline Assessment.  We continue with Essex Primary Pupil records as recommended by the LEA to record National Curriculum progress.

Reporting to Parents

A full written report of progress throughout the year is sent home annually to parents.  The report includes National Curriculum Assessment results where relevant, annual teacher assessments, attainment and effort grades.

Art and Design

We believe that Art and Design is  an important part of the Primary Curriculum.  Through Art and Design, we hope to encourage children to observe closely, interpret and respond to, the environment around them.  Most importantly, we hope to foster a respect and awareness of what looks appealing.


The main purpose of teaching geography is to create in our children a knowledge and understanding of the diversity of their own locality, of the British Isles, of Europe and of the wider world.  It aims to inspire a sense of responsibility for the environment, understanding how people can improve it and damage it.


At Cherry Tree, children have the opportunity to participate in  a varied range of musical activities, which involve listening, composing and performing. 

Religious Education

At Cherry Tree we feel it is important for children to develop positive attitudes towards self, each other and their environment.  Acts of collective worship have a weekly theme and are broadly Christian based.  They are encouraged to learn about other cultures and faiths, mainly through topic work, where opportunitites to explore other beliefs arise.


All children experience a daily maths lesson in ability groups from Year 1 onwards.  We plan our teaching using the National Numeracy Strategy.  Our overall aim is for children to develop a positive attitude to maths and its relevance to the real world.


Science experiences involve the children in finding out more about the world in which they live.  Some activities are practical and develop the children's sense of enquiry, while others develop their scientific knowledge.

Information and Communication Technology

Each year group has a timetabled slot for using the computer suite for Literacy and Numeracy as well as an afternoon slot in which the suite can be used to aid children in their topic work or in their development of ICT skills.  The suite is networked and the children are able to access the internet.  In addition, all classrooms have a standalone computer.

Design Technology

Children are able to develop their designing and making skills as well as their knowledge and understanding of structures throughout the school.


History is mainly taught through topic work.  The children are encouraged to recognise changes, to be aware that past events have had a variety of consequences and recognise the importance of social sources.

Physical Education

We aim to educate our pupils in and through the use and knowledge of the body and its movement, developing a range of physical skills so that children are able to move effectively, efficiently and safely and to understand what they are doing.  We encourage a positive attitude towards health and fitness, enjoyment and a sense of achievement for all.

School Council

Our school council has been up and running for 2 years now and has been involved in purchasing new playground equipment.  There are 2 class elected representatives from each of the junior classes.

Special Needs

We aim to create an ethos where all children, their work and achievements are valued and recognised.  Children are praised often and positively encouraged.  Work and tasks are planned to suit children's abilities and styles of learning.  Essex Stages of Assessment are used to identify specific needs or areas of weakness.  Additional specialised teaching support is given when necessary.  We aim to provide for the most able, because in doing so we raise the sights of the children around them.

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development

This policy underlines our belief that every pupil is a unique individual.  We aim to foster the responsibilities of citizenship and help the children to strive for truth, justice and freedom, breaking down the barriers of prejudice and stereotypes.

Equal Opportunities

At Cheery Tree we aim to ensure that everyone connected with the school is given an equal opportunity to benefit from the school and all that it has to offer.

Home School Agreement

This is an important document which we ask all parents and pupils to sign and support.  It clearly states the expectations that we have in respect of our different roles in your child's education.  We hope it clearly lays down our mutual responsibilities towards working in partnership to give our children the best possible education.

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