Orchard Hill College is an Outstanding specialist College offering life-changing learning opportunities to young people and adults. We have six vibrant College centres across London and Surrey where committed, specialist teams deliver a range of programmes to meet the needs of our students.
As an Outstanding College we are committed to improving opportunities and outcomes for our students, this is at the heart of everything we do. For young people, especially those with special needs or who experience other barriers to learning, the world can present many challenges. All young people deserve to leave education confident that they have developed the skills they need to achieve their ambitions, with meaningful education, work and life experiences to draw on. This is the confidence we aim to deliver.
Overview of our Local Offer Provision
The services we provide at Orchard Hill College will form part of every local authority’s local offer.
Who can attend Orchard Hill College?
Students who study with us have a wide range of needs including:
• Profound and multiple learning disabilities
• Moderate learning difficulties
• Physical and sensory impairments
• Mental health and/or emotional difficulties
• Communication and behavioural difficulties
• Social and communication disorders e.g. Autistic Spectrum Disorders
• Specific medical needs
How do we identify children’s needs?
The assessments team will make an appointment to come and assess you either in your home, at school or in College. By meeting you we will learn about the extra help you will need to support your learning.
We will also ask for copies of reports from people who know you including teachers, social workers, specialist careers advisers and therapists. We can then see what support you have received whilst at school and how we can best support you at College.
How do we involve children and their families?
If you are offered a place we will send you a confirmation letter and you can decide if you would like to accept the placement. Once you accept we work with your local authority to get the right support needed for you to attend Orchard Hill. In the summer term you will be invited to a transition course, this will take place in the centre you will be joining and will last for around 6 weeks.
You will have an opportunity to meet with your peers and your new teacher. Throughout this process we will be in contact regularly and will support you through this journey
What range of support is available?
Orchard Hill College students can access The Digital School, our student driven enterprise that develops innovative and engaging digital resources for students, staff and the wider community.
The team delivers digital workshops across our six College centres, engaging with students to produce digital magazines, make short films and broadcast a live radio show. These workshops not only strengthen students’ communication and independence skills, they offer them the opportunity to be at the forefront of the technological revolution, have fun and be part of youth culture.
In partnership with our students we continue to change the way technology and education interact. As a result, our students have developed a range of digital products to suit both special and mainstream educational needs.
How do we measure your child’s progress?
Throughout your programme, we are focused on what you want to do when you leave College. We work with you, your family and the professionals working with you (such as social workers, transition managers and specialist careers advisers) to ensure your needs are met.
Annual Reviews are a very important part of this process. During your final year you will have two reviews. At the review, everyone comes together to share information about you and your progress that you have made.
Every effort is made to ensure that students leaving Orchard Hill College will have appropriate provision in place to move onto to support their independence and future aspirations such as volunteering, social enterprise, or further part time training alongside a programme of daily activities.
We have a number of ways in which we formally and informally review student progress throughout the year. This includes:
• Half termly assessments (academic, personal and social development)
• The annual review of the Education, Health & Care Plan
• Termly Core skills assessments and tracking
• Termly outcome/study programmes assessments and tracking
• Weekly Case study, good news stories and learner challenge evidence
• Weekly photographic, video and e-learning evidence on e-portfolio and ShareSpace (student friendly)
Staff will work with you to monitor your progress and to discuss and set new targets to make sure that the programme of learning and support you are following is right for you. Staff will continuously check that you are continuing to make progress towards achieving your planned outcomes.
What support and training is available to staff?
Our highly experienced and qualified staff includes specialist teachers, learning support assistants, nurses, job coaches and therapists.
The College recognises that its staff and community affiliates are fundamental to student’s success.
Staff development includes any activity which contributes to the enhancement of their knowledge, skills or working practices e.g. courses, development programmes, vocational training, mandatory staff development activities, attendance at meetings and conferences, secondments, development of educational materials, curriculum enhancement and active involvement in professional bodies.
How do we promote inclusion?
The College pays due regard to the College’s commitment to equality of opportunity as set out in relevant policies. There will be equality of access to staff development opportunities for all college staff.
10 working days per annum are set aside for staff involvement in learning and development activities.