Bale’s Farm offers a therapeutic outdoor learning provision for children between the ages of 5 and 19 with the aim to re-engage and re-inspire them with learning. We particularly identify those children who are currently not attending school, have no school placement, are home schooled or whose current placement is not working for them.
The provision is based at a smallholding in Daccombe, where we have a range of indoor and outdoor spaces to use and there are a variety of animals including pigs, goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits and guinea pigs.
All the young people will be working at their own ability and we will be focussing on having small groups of children to encourage and enable social interaction.
Our ethos is to provide a safe, calming and welcoming environment to help young people realise and reach their full potential.
The practical nature of the programme also puts core subjects into context; maths and science become useful to the activities and the results are tangible. The farm will also provide an opportunity to learn practical life skills, develop independence whilst teaching the importance of responsibility. Our young people will also be given the chance to undertake a range of ASDAN qualifications in (including but not limited to) - gardening, personal life skills, English, maths and animal care and welfare.
In our allotment area the children can engage in land work, learning and understanding the process of growing their own fruit and veg.
The children will also have the opportunity on a daily basis to feed the animals, take them for walks, cuddle with them and learn all about them – their diet, their habitat, how they grow etc.
There will be elements of traditional Forest School too, we will be using the land that we are based on to go on nature walks, build dens, go stream/pond dipping, cooking on a campfire and learning about how to conserve the environment.
Children will also be able to take part in a variety of nature inspired crafts, ideas, experiments and games.
Many of these activities will aid the foundation blocks for reinforcing the need to share, providing a sense of fairness, encouraging giving and receiving and engaging in positive social interactions.
Our staff (including a teacher with 15 years’ SEN experience) are well versed in a variety of communication methods including British sign language, Makaton and PECS as well as using visual aids and gestures to support the spoken word, we will ensure we offer the correct support to each individual.
And of course, we will have our assistance dogs - Bale, Grace and Arthur on hand all the time to provide that bit of canine companionship and animal assisted therapy.