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How we Learn

At Old Farm School we aim to provide a broad and balanced curriculum that promotes experiential learning and a thirst for knowledge. We provide an environment which allows pupils to take risks and develop the resilience, determination and tolerance required to lead successful lives in modern, democratic Britain.

At Old Farm School we believe the curriculum encompasses all aspects of school life. Many pupils that arrive at Old Farm School have had negative experiences at prior educational placements. As such, they have an adverse image of education which often leads to low self-esteem, low attendance and disjointed engagement.

The purpose of the Inclusion Triangle is to ensure no pupils are left behind!  It is there to support the needs of pupils and help staff coordinate a plan on how best to move forward, mapping out the desired outcomes.

Trust, relationships and having a specialist knowledge on the pupils in our care is what the Inclusion Triangle is based upon.  The Inclusion Triangle is a 3 tiered approach and should represent the population of our school community and what the school offers to support.  Pupils can be a transient in all three tiers but we ultimately keep them all within the triangle, knowing what we want the outcomes to be.

Tier 1
What it looks likeCurriculum (diet for life – Learning Is For Everyone)
Learning for life
Confidence in life
Preparation for working life  
PurposeAchieve the outcomes for pupils to progress into adulthood.
Support pupils’ progress socially, emotionally and academically.
Prepare pupils for life beyond Old Farm School.
Pupil profileAble to access small groups with teachers, commissioned curriculum ‘real’ life staff and teaching assistants.
OutcomesProgress tracked using criteria which is linked to national expectations and progression guidance
Progress Check Points (PCPs x 6 annually) – completed with supporting evidence.
PRAG rating (weekly behaviour, attitude, engagement and attendance analysis).
Tier 2
What it looks like:1:1 Small groups
Threaded through curriculum areas
Whole school activities
PurposeIn-school/house interventions to support pupil’s specific needs Support engagement in lifeTherapeutic and counselling supportSpecialist support services including education psychologists, speech and language and occupational therapists.  
Pupil profileThrough weekly analysis of behaviour, attitude, engagement and attendance pupils will be supported either in learning sessions or taken out discreetly with the aim of removing barriers to learning and supporting pupils’ wellbeing.
OutcomesProgress tracked on pupils individual starting points  
Tier  3
What it looks like:Positive Re-engagement Programme
PurposeTo engage pupils in learning – inside or outside the classroomIncrease pupils through a phased reintegration into learning
Pupil profileNon-engagement in Old Farm School’s inhouse curriculum offer.
In-school interventions tracked and evidenced
External agency involvement   
OutcomesPotential reintegration timetable (reviewed weekly)Work Related Learning (L1 and L2 courses) combined with 1: 1 teaching
Combination interventions and p/t timetable resulting in f/t timetable
Weekly analysis  

Learning Missions at Old Farm School

Why do we teach through Learning Missions?

‘At Old farm school we build our community through:

Our Learning is for Everyone Curriculum


Old farm School provides a community of learning for those students with a variety of needs who have found mainstream and quite often special schools difficult to access. Due to our cohorts, we aim to provide, rich, engaging learning opportunities that will motivate and inspire and provide a life long love of learning. We do this within our curriculum and through our staff demonstrating and modelling a love of learning.

As such, we design our curriculum to realise these principles. Our relentless focus is to ensure that our students grow their character, create beautiful work and achieve academic success.

We deliver our curriculum predominantly through cross disciplinary learning missions. These are standards-based projects that are specifically designed to make connections between subjects and encourage deep and purposeful learning experiences.

Expeditions are tightly structured through careful mapping of standards, skills and content and designed by teachers to ensure that all students:

  • make better than expected academic progress;
  • produce beautiful work;
  • grow their characters in readiness for the challenges presented by the world;
  • are agents for positively improving themselves, their community and the wider world

Therefore, we develop our curriculum so that learning is relevant, purposeful and authentic. This manifests into a number of key strands that we use as a focus for realising our design principles through our curriculum.

Our three rich strands at Old Farm School are:

  • Climate Emergency – this is an existential threat so this is an imperative part of our curriculum. If we want our students to change the world, they need to save it first and they need the skills to lead this action. Our students make the knowledge they acquire around this seam powerful by actively making a difference to our world.
  • Social Justice – the world is filled with inequity and this is sustained by systems, structures and governance that protects the interests of the few and neglects the many. We uncover, confront and challenge inequities of race, gender, identity and class through our work and use the knowledge we acquire to affect social and cultural change. We want our students to be leaders of this change.
  • Diversity and Belonging – at Old farm School we understand the power of crew and we know our community is stronger because of our differences. This is, therefore, a key strand that runs through many of our expeditions and case studies allowing our students to deepen their empathy and understanding of the value of difference and non-conformity. We strive for equality at Old Farm School by promoting equity so this is reflected in our curriculum design.

Missions are usually cross-curricular and include subjects from both HUMAN and STEAM combined. This ensures that students see connections between subjects and standards and thereby deepen their learning experiences. If missions are not combined, then they are delivered through either HUMAN or STEAM expeditions. This allows students to dive down into related subject areas like Maths, Science and Technology to strengthen their understanding of key concepts and skills.

On occasion, missions can be delivered through a single subject in a ‘slice’. This often occurs when a specific skill or content needs to be explored and does not have a natural home in either a combined, HUMAN or STEAM expedition.

Our curriculum is broad and, through learning missions, is designed to be flexible, responsive and exciting. This does not mean we compromise on subject standards and knowledge but that we make these more powerful by integrating, connecting and immersing our subjects in academically rigorous, sequenced learning experiences. 


As an independent special school we cater effectively for the varying needs of all our pupils. For those children with SEMH we deliver our core offer to them across all curriculum areas. The link below details our SEMH policy.

Please find our school’s SEMH Policy via the following link: Policies

Further details of our SEND provision can be obtained from our SENCO, Emma Gibson.


The Department for Education has stated that there is a need:

“To create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs”.

British Values are defined by the Department of Education as follows:

  • Respect for democracy and support or participation in the democratic process
  • Respect for the basis on which the law is made and applies in England
  • Support for equality of opportunity for all
  • Support and respect for the liberties of all within the law
  • Respect for and tolerance of different faiths and religious and other beliefs

Old Farm School reflects British values in all aspects of school life. We aim to nurture, guide and support our children on their journey through life so they can grow into safe, caring, democratic, responsible and tolerant adults who make a positive difference to British society and to the world. We encourage our children to be creative, unique, open-minded and independent individuals, respectful of themselves and of others in our school, our local community and the wider world.

"British values are a core part of the PSHE education offer at Old Farm School. Recently, pupils have completed work relating to ‘Black Lives Matter’. This has increased their understanding of equality. Through comprehensive PSHE education, pupils learn about life in Britain, how to face risks and to have respect for people who are different to themselves. Pupils also learn how to keep themselves safe. They learn about staying healthy, physically and mentally." - Ofsted, July 2020

Privacy Policy

We regard your privacy as important and any personal information you give to us will be used in accordance with the Data Protection Act and the General Data Protection Regulations.

We do not store personal information about individuals who visit this site except where they provide contact information via our contact us page and contact forms available on various pages throughout the website.

Any information you provide will only be used for the reasons specified and it will not be shared with any third party without your consent, unless required by law.

Your contact details are kept securely and are only accessed by authorised members of staff as part of the provision of school services. If you do not wish us to keep this contact information please tell us.

This website uses Google Analytics which provides statistical data about the usage of the site. This information is not used to identify individuals, but is collected to provide us with an understanding of the areas of interest on our site and how our site is being used.

If you are connected to the internet you will have an IP Address. This may take the form of a figure, such as 333.333.22.1. The address will be automatically collected and logged as part of the connection of your computer to our web server and may be used to determine the total number of visits to each part of the site. This data is not collected and used for other purposes.

This website contains links to other websites. The School is not responsible for the privacy practices of other sites or organisations and recommends you consult the privacy information on those sites.

This policy will be reviewed and updated versions will be posted on the website.

If you have any questions about the use of your personal information, the Information Commissioner is the independent regulator for both Data Protection and Freedom of Information.