Letters to Farmer Brian
"...Our son has for the past year been a student at Oliver's Hill Farm. He goes there on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and his curriculum is delivered through functional learning on the farm.
He has complex needs and struggles to learn in a traditional classroom environment which often leads him to become anxious, angry and oppositional, resulting in removal from class and, hence, a lack of educational progress. Joe has made amazing progress since he has been going to the farm, both in terms of his academic learning, but also his self confidence has increased and his anxiety and oppositional behaviour levels have reduced. His behaviour is much more regulated."
"He has made amazing progress"
"... they are having fun, enjoying their work and they continue to learn and make progress."
"We can see that Oliver's Hill Farm is such a happy, special place and one which should be multiplied all over the country. A calming environment which is able to offer therapeutic learning to individual students whatever their needs, whilst at the same time being able to offer so many different opportunities for learning. Each student has tailor made packages to maximise their potential whilst at the farm and which, hopefully, they can retain and access into adulthood.
You are supported by a team who have a wealth of skills and experience working with young people with additional needs. This is invaluable as not only does the young person feel safe and secure in the knowledge that they are being understood; but as a parent, we too feel confident that their needs are being met. Not forgetting of course, that whilst they are having fun, enjoying their work, they continue to learn and make progress across the curriculum.
I understand from our son's teacher, that because of Olivers Hill Farm and all that you offer, he is working at a much higher level than when he is in the classroom. He has settled in well, comfortable and making good progress. We never thought that one day he would be working towards a BTEC qualification.
Brian and Linda, congratulations on what you have achieved so far!"
I would like to express my sincere thanks for all the support and help you give to my son and all the children at St Mary's College Bexhill.
He has thrived in your hands-on, practical environment. As a young person with complex special needs he has embraced the theraputic experience. I could never have imagined that he would engage in some of the lessons that you have encouraged him to take part in, as a child he was scared of small dogs!! To be exposed to so many areas of animals and farming is indeed preparing him for the outside world and working towards an adult life in the community.
Your time, effort and the wonderful environment is invaluable to the community and I cannot thank you enough for your commitment to our special children.
"Your time, effort and the wonderful environment is invaluable to the community."
"The students love going to the farm"
The students love going to the farm. They love being outdoors in all weather, and working together in a team to achieve the tasks set for them. They are proud when they achieve something that they previously thought they could not do, such as dig a trench in preparation for planting or climb over a hurdle to attend to lambs.