GCSE Intensive Revision Course

A week-long bespoke programme of support in an environment ideally suited to learning.

  • Do you want a solution for your hard to reach and vulnerable Year 11s?
  • Do you want to overcome some of the Pupil Premium background barriers to learning?
  • Will they need an additional boost to secure achievement and progress?

About us

Jamie’s Farm exists to transform the lives of vulnerable children in challenging urban schools by providing a unique combination of ‘farming, family and therapy’. We aim to re-engage children with educational life, enabling them to fulfil their potential both in their school and community. Currently our model is based around an intensive residential experience on working farm in the beautiful countryside of the Cotswolds and in Herefordshire. This approach improves pupils’ attainment in the longer term by developing their softer skills such as resilience, self-esteem and discipline. However, having opened a second residential farm and spoken to our partner schools about further support they want from us, we are now offering an additional, seasonal programme specifically designed to accommodate and facilitate revision residentials 

The project

In recent years, many schools have understood the value of taking children out of school for a week in the run-in to their external examinations. We recognise that these experiences can offer a crucial boost to the prospects of children to achieve their potential. Furthermore, these experiences have been found to be disproportionally valuable for the most disadvantaged pupils. This is unsurprising. Children from more deprived backgrounds are often unable to have the same level of support and engagement at home. Being subjected to an environment that is not conducive to learning is a barrier to learning for Pupil Premium children that we have to work to do something about.

Consequently, Jamie’s Farm has devised a residential experience that will allow a school to target around 24 individuals with an intensive package of support. We believe there are some unique aspects of Jamie’s Farm that marks us out as a perfect location for this to take place:

  • Our Mission: We have been set up specifically in order to support the most disadvantaged of pupils to reach their potential. All our staff are thoroughly committed to helping every young person achieve their potential, and will take this passion into our work during the week;
  • Our Staff: Many of our team have come from a teaching background, including two Assistant Headteachers; 
  • Our Environment: Both of our residential farms are situated in stunning parts of the countryside, within easy reach of London, the West Midlands, the North West, Wales and the South West. We would ensure that children gain regular opportunities to walk and explore this environment, so that
    they can benefit from the clean air and physical exertion in order to keep them fresh for their work. Furthermore, the buildings of the farm have great potential as calm learning spaces, perfect for intensive, small-scale revision groups; 
  • Our Programme of Activities: Children staying on the Farm are able to tackle a range of different challenges. For instance, pupils go from chopping logs to lambing sheep, and from horse-work to harvesting in the garden. These sessions are specifically designed so children gain a boost to self-esteem and see the benefits of persevering in order to successfully complete a task. Boosting their confidence in amongst revision sessions will greatly benefit their ability to focus on school work;
  • A distraction-free world: Jamie’s Farm has a very clear policy on not allowing phones and other electronic equipment, allowing children the opportunity to spend a week without negative influences or distractions. Furthermore, we provide delicious home-made food, much of which is
    produced in our beautiful vegetable garden. Children aren’t allowed to bring extra sweets and we carefully moderate their diet in order that it is most conducive to focussing. 
  • Partnership model: We commit to seeing children before they come to the Farm and following up with them afterwards in order that children can see our care for them extends beyond just their time staying with us. Furthermore, during the week, members of staff – many of whom live on site – go above and beyond in supporting our teachers with looking after their children. We will help you get the children up and put them to bed, in order that things run smoothly and you are not exhausted for the important job of teaching them!

An example timetable

The following is an example timetable of the week. This can be adapted depending on the specific needs of the group

This timetable is based a total of 24 pupils. The 24 pupils will be divided into two groups of twelve. Each full day has two three-hour sessions which will be divided up so that one group of twelve will do farm activities for 90 minutes, while the other twelve will be doing revision for 90 minutes. Then they will swap so that for the second half of the session, the group that were doing farm activities will now do revision and vice versa. This swift rotation allows pupils who are not brilliant at focussing for extended periods of time the chance for variety. However, it could easily be amended so that sessions will take the full three hours to allow for a deeper level of work and less time lost in transition, or so that sessions can be broken down even more to allow more shorter, sharper work. Activity sessions will include: farming; log chopping; gardening; cooking; artwork; carpentry and horse-work. 

What we need from the school? 

  • One English and one Maths teacher for the week to lead the revision sessions;
  • An LSA that has strong relationships with the children.

Assessment of week

  • Pre and Post Learning test for week;
  • Pre and Post surveying with the New Philanthropy Capital’s Well-being Measure, which charts progress in soft-skills such as self-esteem and resilience.

Our Outcomes

From the programmes offered above, we believe we will be able to greatly enhance the standard of revision your target group of pupils will gain. We are looking forward to piloting this work, and believe that subsequent evaluation will demonstrate that children who benefit from this experience will show improved
outcomes compared to those who have a different residential. 

Testimonial

‘I have been looking forward to Jamie’s Farm offering this product for some time. Having seen the professionalism of the staff and the magic of the environment in the way they work with some of my most vulnerable children, I am really excited about the prospect of my school working with
them to boost the prospects of a target group through this provision.’
Carly Mitchell, Principal Oasis Academy South Bank

 

For further information, please contact:

Jake Curtis, Programme Manager
jake@jamiesfarm.org.uk
07584 561065