Alternative Educational provision

Who is Alternative Family Provision for?

We work with young people from 6 to 16 years old covering key stage 1 to key stage 4. 

The young people we typically welcome to the farm are those who are finding their current mainstream setting difficult to cope with, those at risk of exclusion or young people who not able to access school at all. We work closely with the surrounding Local Authorities, The Virtual School, a variety of local schools directly and we also welcome individual families to contact us directly to discuss specific requirements.

Our environment supports a wide variety of learning styles and preferences for our young people. It is largely an outdoor based environment and we actively use our equine herd, the farm’s dogs, our small animals, bushcraft skills and the garden to engage with pupils and work in a varied way so we can assess what works best with particular individual needs. 

How it works

When working with key stage 1 and 2. The approach for the younger age range is very tailored to each pupil based on their individual needs and behaviours. We do where appropriate or where required, integrate elements of the school based learning curriculum into the time and activities that are accessed on the farm. The overall focus for our younger pupils tends to be typically more centred around addressing behaviours, building self-esteem, teaching self-regulation and working on relationship building, especially in the initial stages of building our relationships with them.

Our team are all qualified coaches with the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) they have also undergone extensive training to enable them to work in a therapeutic approach, specialising in behaviour, all of which enables them to build a deeper connection and understanding of the challenges and behavioural patterns that our young people are typically experiencing. The way we work is gentle and importantly pressure free, however we hold a strong framework of boundaries to ensure that our young people and coaches are emotionally and physically safe in the environment. We do also have as part of the team specialist tutors to teach of core curriculum subjects Maths and English up to GCSE level.

With regards to extending the working relationships beyond our young people, we work with schools, parents, carers and any other stakeholders to ensure a joined-up and holistic approach. This ensures that the positive impact the overall wellbeing and support for our young people is at the forefront of all that we do. Our priority is to help them build emotional well-being, engagement and self-awareness. We focus on helping our young people understand what ‘healthy relationships require and how they can grow their self-esteem.  Longer term we can also liaise with the school or wider support network directly to identify opportunities to integrate curriculum related opportunities if that is desired – (for example working out the math calculations required in order to establish how much food a horse or dog would need per day based on its size and weight.) The practical and dextral skills and abilities are also something we consciously look at opportunities to develop; which are readily available when the students are working with us practically in our environment, be it riding a pony or learning how to prepare a vegetable patch for planting, they are all highly valuable transferable life skills.

We are very happy to submit periodic reports on the sessions and also submit any learning evidence alongside that.

Our recommendation to enrol pupils for a minimum commitment of a term for an agreed number of one-to-one 2-hour sessions per week, (though we will accept an enrolment for a half term as long as the expectations for outcomes are in line with the timeframe). The minimum number of hours required is 2 per week up to a maximum of 18 per week. Typically, the development could then be progressed into working along-side another pupil(s). (The maximum would be a group of 3-4) this then creates further opportunities to stretch the pupils, building the capacity for development in all areas beyond the one-to-one scenario. 

Take your next step with Learning to Listen

We’re on hand to talk to you about alternative family provision. Speak to the team today and we’ll schedule an initial conversation to explore how we can best be of support.

Take your next step with Learning To Listen

Talk to the herd today

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How to reach us...

We are situated out in the Hertfordshire countryside near Hitchin, Harpenden and Luton.

Our door is always open

Learning to Listen

Easthall Farmhouse

St Pauls Walden



Please make an appointment with us before visiting.