A flexible framework for children with complex needs
The team at Tapestry have worked with Cherry Garden School, an outstanding special school for pupils from 2-11 years old in the London Borough of Southwark to bring their assessment framework to life on Tapestry. Using their years of special education needs teaching experience and by building on parts of the popular Routes for Learning framework, Cherry Garden have created a unique, child centred framework for students with SLD/PMLD working at a level expected for typically developing children aged 0-5.
You can use this framework, alongside recording videos, taking pictures, writing notes, and using hashtags, to assess children on Tapestry. It will allow you to document their learning and share it with parents in a quick, easy, and engaging way.
It comes with a range of screens to help you keep track of where a child is, see how far they’ve come across their time with you, and set targets for future progress.
One screen that we’re particularly excited about is the Orchard graphic. This was created to fulfil a key element of what Cherry Garden wanted to achieve with this framework – demonstrating lateral progress. Many alternative assessment tools have an expectation that progress is always linear. We know that is often not the case though, especially with children with complex needs, and Cherry Garden allows them to follow their own path.
It comes in two parts; a tree and a flower. If you allow parents to see the Cherry Garden assessments, they will be able to see these from their own Tapestry accounts too.
The tree is for those working in the higher branches and whose needs are less complex. Leaves will grow on the tree as the child is observed as having a secured their learning in each statement. By clicking on the leaves, you can see the corresponding observations.
If a child is working in branches 1-4, they will have a flower for each strand instead. The petals on these flowers represent each statement and they will grow in size as the average refinement increases and will deepen in colour as more observations demonstrating the statement are made. Again, by clicking on it, you and your families will be able to see those observations.
If you’re interested in reading a bit more about the framework itself, take a look at this article on our Forum: Cherry Garden Branch Maps – a different approach to assessment for children with additional needs.
Here is a quick video of Stephen Kilgour, one of the creators of the Cherry Garden framework, talking about the Branch Maps and Cherry Garden on Tapestry:
You can download offline versions of the branch maps and a document which shows you how the branches line up with EYFS and P levels below if you’d like to use Cherry Garden framework but not on Tapestry.
Reflections for Reflective Practice
Record reflective thoughts, link them to existing observations or flag them and share with your colleagues.
Reduce your workload by making group observations for activities involving several children.
Use #hashtags in observations to identify key-phrases such as ‘#childinitiated’ or specific focus points e.g. #behaviour, as well as for categorising observations e.g. ‘#outdoors’.