Bespoke follow up programmes, designed in partnership with schools, include visits by our staff as well as ideas in how to implement elements of our programme back in school. We ensure we always have open communication lines to support new ideas and overcome any challenges that may limit long-term impact.
During the residential
Every Thursday morning of a visit, our School Partnership Manager meets with the Lead Teacher and Jamie’s Farm Therapy Coordinator, to look at what follow-up support each child needs, as well as whole group sessions that could be planned to recreate the family feel of a Jamie’s Farm residential back in school. We look at the key moments when we, as Jamie’s Farm staff, can go into school to reconnect with the children, and in particular, to hold the children to account against the challenges and goals they set themselves on the Farm.
The day they return: letters to Head Teacher
The Head Teacher of each school receives a letter on the Friday of a visit – the day the children return. This is so that they can celebrate all the pupils’ highlights alongside them as soon as they get back. It will also detail any key strategies that we believe will help certain at-risk pupils.
The day after they return: letters to parents or carers
On the Saturday, the day after children have returned, the parents or carers receive a letter that has been sent in the post by our Jamie’s Farm teams the previous afternoon. This personalised recognition, specific to every child, is designed to support the children to share their successes, their pride and excitement from the week immediately on their return to normal life.
One week on
Our partner schools and organisations receive bespoke reports on each child with detailed notes about their experiences at the farm, in addition to suggested interventions or manners of working with them.
“The experience that students have had has been invaluable to them. Every aspect of the process and experience has impressed me, from pre-visit calls and visits, to the actual visit, to the support and guidance whilst here, and then the planned follow ups – an incredibly impressive organisation run by equally impressive staff.” Teacher, Hartshill School, Nuneaton, 2016
Two weeks on
Each child is sent a postcard with a photo of them in their favourite place at the farm along with a reminder of their strengths and highlights from the week, as well as the challenges they have identified for themselves. For many young people this is a real boost after the difficulties of reintegrating back into school and life have been realised.
“The postcards gave me hope in improving myself as a person.” Salma, Cranford, 2016
Six weeks on
After six weeks, our staff visit the young people back in school and hold a meeting, refreshing the values of Jamie’s Farm, but also to hear how they have been getting on against the challenges they set for themselves. We also present the young people with their certificates, often in front of parents and teachers, which detail all the amazing things we noticed about them on the farm.
Six months and beyond
We are lucky enough that young people want to visit the farm again and again, and we have put in place a series of work experience placements for Jamie’s Farmers when they reach Sixth Form.
We have also been working with some of our longstanding partner schools to pilot mentoring, whereby older students who have visited the farm before, return with younger age groups as mentors for the week. The young people then work with their mentees back in school to help them change their paths and offer support should they need it. For some of the older mentors, this level of responsibility can be both a reward, and sometimes a timely reminder of the progress they have made since attending Jamie’s Farm.
Schools based in London are offered an extended six-week follow up programme at our city farm in Waterloo. Set up in partnership with Oasis Community Hub, this half-acre city farm is enabling us to deepen our impact, even after groups return home. The programme delivered here mirrors familiar activities from the residential, allowing young people to build on their successes and skills identified during the original visit. During the 2016-17 academic year, 210 young people visited Oasis Farm: Waterloo for a follow-up programme.
“Every Wednesday I always look forward to coming back to the farm. You do so much for me and are really nice people to be around. It’s nice having people to talk to and it makes me feel good when you understand. The people around me make me feel needed and I always want to stay longer. We have learnt different skills that will make us feel good throughout life.” Sam, Harris Academy Battersea, 2016