What we do
Based in our woodland cabins we work with children who are underachieving at school and usually in receipt of free school meals or Pupil Premium (additional funding for disadvantaged children). We work with children from 4 to 16 years old.
Our Ufton Adventure model is based on repeated visits to ensure learning is embedded.
Many of the children who come to Ufton Adventure are extremely anxious and use very negative vocabulary to describe themselves. We teach children coping techniques to reduce stress and help them to understand and take responsibility for their own wellbeing. Children cannot succeed at school without the ability to manage their wellbeing.
Our programmes begin by looking at core learning behaviours and developing an understanding of self through a range of outdoor activities.
We have a holistic approach to children’s education and we work in our beautiful setting to help young people cope with the challenges they face at school, at home and in their community.
With our older children we run programmes to help them become work ready. In these programmes we work to develop the following key personal skills: To be self-aware, receptive, driven, informed, self- assured and resilient.
Child D had under-developed social interaction skills which meant he struggled to form friendships and often misread social situations. These challenges meant that he could get isolated from his peers and would often try and seek friendship groups with students who were younger than him. D experiences anxiety and is noise sensitive and struggles to link consequences with his behaviours. He was identified as being in need of additional support as he would often truant classes or refuse to follow classroom rules.
The Ufton programme had a huge impact on developing D’s personal and social development skills through problem solving & team work activities. We noticed particular improvement in his communication skills, which allowed him to build more positive relationships with both staff and peers. D has also developed a better awareness of boundaries and personal safety. The impact of this was a significant reduction in the number of incidents involving Daniel’s unsafe behaviour in school. The programme also helped to build D’s resilience within school and in particular his attitude to learning and attendance. By the end of the year he had improved from a level 4 to a level 2. D has now returned to full time mainstream education. His attendance at school had reached 97% and the necessity for negative sanctions has significantly reduced
Child R is in year 11 and in receipt of Pupil Premium and attends an inner city all-girls school. She first came to Ufton when she was 13. She is the main carer for her mother who was a young mother herself and is suffers from anxiety and depression. R receives no support at home and lives in an area identified as one of the most impoverished and disadvantaged in the UK.
R presented several issues: very low levels of engagement in events and people; lack of interest and involvement; low empathy and trust; very negative attitudes towards learning and towards her peers. R struggled to listen and do what was required of her, showing little interest in others or the activity she was asked to participate in. She found it very difficult to make constructive and reciprocal friendships, seemingly unaware of the feelings and attitudes of others, seeking instead to interfere or cause disturbance.
Following many visits across three years to Ufton Court, R has become able to give attention to tasks and to her peers, interacting purposefully and constructively with others. She exhibits greater emotional security and made more constructive relationships, being able to cooperate with others and demonstrating the necessary controls for social functioning. R attributes these changes to her experiences at Ufton Adventure and has looked forward to each visit, she says that her experiences at Ufton have increased her confidence. R has developed a sense of self-worth and trust in others; she is now able to work alongside her peers in curriculum sessions and challenging activities through more trusting and respectful relationships. Her attendance at school has increased, she raises her hand in class to answer questions and is on track to achieve her predicted grades at GCSE. She has gained confidence and formed friendships and is looking forward to going to college in September where she plans to take a child care qualification.
Child T is in year 10 and in receipt of the pupil premium funding and started coming to Ufton at age 11. T comes from a dysfunctional home which offers little academic support, encouragement or engagement; Mum lacks confidence in communicating in English. The family took refugee status in England and there has been a family breakdown due to domestic violence.
T was offered the opportunity to attend Ufton Adventure for a number of reasons: firstly, as a respite from his daily routine; secondly, to raise his self-esteem and self-belief; ensuring that he knows that he is supported and cared for at school. We expected this to lead to better holistic development as a teenager and raise his ambition and achievement both academically and emotionally. As it has done with our other children.
T has been to Ufton Court many times. He thoroughly looks forward to the visit each time and will ask his teacher at the start of the academic year, “When are we going back to Ufton?” Whilst at Ufton Adventure, he makes the most of all opportunities, getting involved in all activities. He enjoys the visits because it is a chance to be in a new and exciting landscape. When he is at home, he does not have the opportunities to be outside in wide open spaces. He also enjoys the hands-on activities that he does not get to do elsewhere (e.g. fire lighting, shelter building or low ropes).
The impact of Ufton Adventure can be seen clearly at school; T now has an outlet for his excess energy and is more focused and calm in lessons. In the classroom, he is more confident, will raise his hand, and ask for help and be more confident to share ideas. Ufton has helped to develop his personal skills as well as his academic side.
Child E is in year 11 and in receipt of the pupil premium funding. She comes from a dysfunctional home which offers no academic support or encouragement. We offered E the opportunity to attend Ufton Adventure to raise her self- esteem and self-belief; ensuring that she knows that she is cared for at the very least by school staff
E has been to Ufton Court 4 times during her secondary school and also came a number of times whilst at primary school. She values the experiences she is offered at Ufton and makes the most of them.
The impact of Ufton can be seen clearly at school; E knows how to tackle activities that she may find difficult, and how to overcome problems individually and as part of a team. E says that Ufton has increased her confidence; in the classroom, she now feels comfortable putting her hand up to ask and answer questions, she has become much more resilient and is progressing well academically. She has also gained tremendous confidence in making new friends and talking to new people, helping her deal with friendship issues and not letting them distract her from her work or result in absence from school.
E has is looking forward to her next and final visit to Ufton , she is also excited that this time there will also be a focus on revision for her GCSE’s.