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Joining the kids (and pigs!) at The Green Room Kingsley

LocatED is the government-owned property company creating much-needed school places for thousands of children and recently one of their team came to volunteer at GRK for the day, here's their account of the day:

"LocatED team members are encouraged to take a day every year to volunteer and make a difference in the community. Recently, LocatED’s Head of Marketing and Communications, Jenny Clegg, volunteered at The Green Room School in Kingsley, based on Old Park Farm, amidst 120 acres of rolling Hampshire countryside. The school offers a unique environment that aims to help pupils aged 11 -16 who, through no fault of their own, cannot survive in mainstream schools. Pupils are often school refusers, pupils with Statements/EHCP plans and pupils in fear of exclusion.

The teaching team at the school use a combination of therapeutic, academic, creative and physical education to significantly change the lives of the small group of pupils who attend, to start a path to a better life and where possible try and return them to mainstream education.

Jenny joined the pupils in the morning for breakfast and a short run-through of what was in store for the day – then got stuck in! She was taken on a tour of the farm by two students to help feed and check the wide range of animals, including everything from the ferrets to the horses! Jenny was also introduced to the farming machinery that some of the older students learn with; a lot of classes focus on working outside in the natural environment to offer a therapeutic release from the everyday classroom.

After being chased by a territorial goose, Jenny headed back indoors to re-join the classes taking place in the afternoon. She supported both Maths and English lessons, which made creative use of iPads to deliver individually tailored lesson plans to suit each pupil. Jenny said: “Every part of the calm environment at The Green Room School was designed to put the kids at ease – it was so deliberately different to the typical school setting and I found it really interesting to witness how effective this made the classes. It was great to learn how the children are given boundaries that are firm, fair and consistent whilst being coaxed by the attentive staff to gradually re-engage with education on their own terms in this safe space.”

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