A teacher's story
“Words cannot explain how much Julia and the team at Longlands Farm have impacted one young person’s life.”
Richard Rainbird-Hitchens, head of year 11 at Aspire Academy (one of our commissioning schools), told us this story about one of his recent students:
“Back at the tail end of the Autumn this student was demonstrating outrageous behaviour and at risk of being permanently excluded from school. He is well known to the police and was being exploited by gangs for drugs usage. Everything we tried did not work and we found he was on a downward cycle of being excluded from school. We reached a critical point where we needed to act fast and try something different, or else we were at risk of watching a young man fail in so many areas.
“I have to say I was apprehensive about him being around animals and didn’t think this placement would work, but was willing to try anything.
“To my surprise he returned from day one at Longlands saying he had experienced one of his best days ever! I was amazed at what he was saying. This led to me doing a site visit and seeing his willingness, motivation and drive, first-hand. (I add, seeing a lad of 15 yrs of age using a Stanley Knife, unsupervised, in a controlled way with no threat, from an Alternative Provision Free School, is very rarely heard of.) I would never have imagined this happening.
“We are now at nearly 12 weeks into this term and he is a transformed young man. He attends the farm two days a week and because he is getting so much from it we are looking to increase this to a third day.
Words cannot explain how much Julia and the team at Longlands Farm have impacted one person’s life, in such a short period of time. We now have five students accessing the farm on a weekly basis, and they all have a story to tell of the successes they are making.”