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Orchard Therapeutic Farm - Alternative Provision

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Our Intent and Priorities

At Orchard Therapeutic Farm, we firmly believe in providing every child with the opportunity to realise their full potential. Our alternative provision focuses on four core aims and principles, ensuring that children receive the support they need to thrive:

  • Promoting mental health, wellbeing and building self esteem
  • Community Engagement/ Participation
  • Achieving Meaningful Outcomes
  • Re integration back into mainstream or specialist placements 


Promoting mental health, wellbeing and building self esteem

At Orchard, we prioritise the mental well-being of young people. Positive mental health is crucial for learning and sustained learning capacity, success and confidence. Our goal is to ensure happiness and health, supporting mental well-being through diverse activities in our personalised programme to meet the needs of every young person.

We provide:

  • A safe space to recognise and explore their own feelings, emotions, and behaviour.
  • A culture that installs a feeling of self-worth and an opportunity to build confidence.
  • A culture in which young people achievements are celebrated - We develop a young person’s self-esteem through consistently positive approaches and frequent opportunities to be successful.
  • An opportunity to create healthy attachments, play and developing the essential life skills necessary to feel valued and empowered within society.
  • A range of activities to support self-management of emotions and regulations with personalised support.
  • We work around our young people's EHCP targets and needs and focus on a variety of social, and well-being activities that help to improve their mental health and well-being. Using a pluralist approach to recognise and respects the diversity of students' needs, backgrounds, and abilities. Emphasising the importance of tailoring strategies and interventions to meet the unique requirements of each student.


Community Engagement/ Participation

Our farm is focused on making students feel part of a community - our students have often had similar experiences so there’s an innate level of understanding and acceptance already and our inclusive atmosphere makes sure everyone feels valued. We seek to engage students in communities that are both supportive and support them through the challenging, so they understand both the value and realities of the diverse communities we experience throughout life. This leads them to build a stronger connection and resilience to their own life pathway, with an understanding of the diverse needs of others and understanding the difference between equity as well as equality.

We believe that students belong to the community around them and that they accept responsibility for their contribution to that community. Our social enterprise opportunities also enable them to develop their engagement whilst gaining proficient life experience.


Achieving Meaningful Outcomes

We know learning is not just about exams and it is not one-size-fits-all. We work under a negotiated and vocational offer, where the students have a say in what they want to achieve. Our Teaching First approach enables them to learn successfully and feel motivated to attend and engaged.


Sessions are delivered are in small groups and/or on a 1:1 - Sessions are planned and adapted to suit the needs and interests of each child whilst still covering real-world topics. As the relationships with the staff here develop, our learners become more confident and resilient learners and build the skills they need to successfully return to activities, education, work or further training.

We provide:

  • Qualifications - Attainment of relevant certifications and qualifications in areas such as agriculture, animal care, cookery, art and many more as well as achievement of educational milestones and qualifications to support future academic pursuits.
  • Work Experience - Practical hands-on experience of relevant activities, fostering skills applicable to future employment.
  • Socialisation - Development of social skills through interaction with peers, farm staff, and animals in a supportive environment.
  • Engagement in Learning - Active participation in educational activities tailored to individual needs, promoting a positive attitude toward learning.
  • Learning in Real-Life Situations/Context - Exposure to practical, real-world situations that enhance understanding and application of academic concepts.
  • Targeted EHCP Outcomes - Tailored activities addressing specific objectives outlined in the child's Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
  • Rapid Personal and Social Progress - Accelerated development of personal and social skills, fostering a sense of responsibility, empathy, and teamwork.
  • Educational Progress - Advancement in academic skills through a hands-on and immersive learning approach.
  • Reintegration into Mainstream or Specialist Provision - Preparation for successful reintegration into mainstream or specialised educational environments.
  • Ambitious Framework - Implementation of a structured and challenging framework tailored to meet the diverse needs and aspiration of the young people.
  • Fulfilment of Potential - Supportive environment and activities designed to unlock and nurture each child's unique potential.
  • Integral Participation - Encouragement to be an integral part of the farm community, promoting a sense of belonging and inclusion.


By focusing on these outcomes, the therapeutic farm provision aims to provide a holistic and enriching experience for children, fostering their growth and development across various dimensions.


Reintegration back into mainstream or specialist placements

Our therapeutic farm plays a pivotal role in facilitating the successful reintegration of children into mainstream educational settings. Central to this process is the farm's commitment to mental health support, providing a nurturing environment that encourages emotional well-being and resilience. We collaborate closely with schools to address absences, low-level behaviour and anxieties through tailored interventions, recognising the importance of a unified approach to behaviour that challenges. By working collaboratively with educational settings, we aim to implement effective strategies that not only mitigate disruptive behaviours but also actively support the child's transition back into the school environment and making their time there more productive.

Our focus extends beyond mere academic reintegration; we strive to create an atmosphere that reduces the likelihood of exclusions by fostering a sense of belonging, building social skills, and instilling a positive attitude towards learning as their confidence grows. Through this holistic approach, our therapeutic farm acts as a bridge, equipping children with the tools and support necessary for a successful return to the best education setting for them.