The Seeds of Change offer personal development and education for young people and adults who suffer from emotional or behavioural issues that present as barriers to learning within a more traditional learning environment. We are an alternative provision catering for student’s with very diverse needs, whilst offering acdemic qualifications.

Below outlines our ethos and what we aim for at the Seeds of Change.

The Learning Environment

The learning environment we offer is primarily outside at a Riding School or at our own Equine Centre and all our programmes centre around interaction with horses or other outdoor activities. There is always a base or “classroom” environment where course work will be completed. Sometimes access to the internet is limited, but we keep good supplies of course material and students complete folders or portfolios to evidence their learning.

We aim to provide a physically and emotionally safe place for all our learners to attend and where each attendee feels valued, equal and treated in a positive and respectful way.

Our provision provides rigorous safeguarding and health and safety procedures for learners. All our coaches undergo regular safeguarding training.

Our Coaching Practices

Our team of coaches come from a variety of different backgrounds and experience, from equestrian professionals, to therapists, counsellors, teachers and youth workers. All of our coaches have the desire to support all young people to overcome their barriers to learning and to assist them in developing transferrable skills that will help them in school, at home and in their daily lives both now and in the future. All coaches actively support the Seeds of Change ethos and hold the same values as our organisation with respect to what young people can expect whilst with us.

We take our roles and responsibilities very seriously and fully understand and support the requirements set out by Ofsted in terms of the quality and standard of education that our learners can expect. We currently deliver City and Guilds Courses in Land Based Studies and Employability Skills up to Level 2, to give our young learners a qualification to enable them to take the next step into employment or education. Students gain appropriate accreditation from their placement and improved motivation and confidence.

Our Students

We have a high percentage of looked after young people and all have been referred to us via Schools, PRU's, Social Services, Youth Offending Services or similar organisations. Many will display highly challenging behaviour and will have been disengaged from education for long periods of time. The approach that we use to support our young people is initially therapeutic and intended to get them into a place where they feel ready and able to learn. Sometimes this process can happen quickly and on other occasions it can take many months. Indeed, for some students they find any kind of classroom based or academic learning so difficult. Our coaches encourage the young learners to make positive choices about the next steps they take.

Our Approach to Coaching

Sessions are conducted in small groups and the curriculum we follow is set out to encourage enjoyment and good attendance at the placement. Young learners who were previously disaffected are encouraged to see the purpose of their sessons and use strategies to help improve their behaviour. As the young people learn new skills they become more confident and motivated in their life.

We have adopted the Ofsted standards for teaching and learning as best practice in many areas of our work. With this focus we encourage students to be respectful to their coaches, each other, and the environment they are working in. We are continually working to progress students with C&G qualifications and prepare them for the next stage in their lives. As students come from a very diverse background, sessions need to be very flexible and coaches will encourage and praise students for making correct choices during the day.

Our Aims for Young People

The place where we can make the most difference is in enabling our young people to work through their issues in a supported and pro-active way through interaction with the horses. We are then able to introduce a more focused academic learning to support the practical activities that the students complete. We can embed Maths and English into this work and hence demonstrate the importance and relevance of learning these skills. Gradually, students become more adept at managing their own emotions which builds their confidence, enables them to work with others more co-operatively and thus achieve a meaningful academic outcome and a better chance in life.

Rachael Frossell & Katherine Dillon

If you would like more information on how to access our programmes, please get in touch on tel: 01234 881871 or email: enquiries@theseedsofchange.co.uk