Transitional Learning Programme

transitional learning programme

Specialist outdoor learning programmes to support students' social and emotional development.

“Overall, studies of transitional learning programmes consistently show positive benefits on academic learning, and wider outcomes such as self-confidence. On average, pupils who participate in adventure learning interventions appear to make approximately three months’ additional progress over the course of a year. The evidence suggests that the impact is greater for longer courses (more than a week), and those in a ‘wilderness’ setting.” Educational Endowment Foundation.

Forest School sessions and outdoor transitional learning can help learners re-engage by improving mental health, self-confidence, resilience, and self-esteem. It is also proven to build and maintain positive relationships with peers, social groups and trusted adults. We have found that learners gain an ability to access, understand, and appropriately display feelings. Learners also develop coping strategies for behaviour and learning.

Over the last 5 years we have built and continue to maintain an eminent reputation for supporting learners from primary to post-16; who have struggled, or are struggling with, educational engagement.

We have a highly experienced and qualified team of forest school workers, who liaise closely with the Local Authority, schools, parents and carers to ensure integrated support for each of our learners. Throughout our transitional programmes we work on matching learners and staff appropriately, developing and achieving bespoke, key targets for learners and supporting the social and emotional development of learners, with the aim of eventual reintegration into learning environments.

We promise Transitional Learning Students:

1:1 sessions

We work with learners who may be at risk of Permanent Exclusion (PEX) or who have had fixed term exclusions. They often need support for other reasons such as behavioural difficulties or social and emotional issues.

group sessions

Our group sessions are run with a maximum ratio of 2:6 to ensure quality time can be spent with every student, while also encouraging a peer to peer element.

Funding and Reporting Support

The Outdoors Group understands there is an obligation to report when funding transitional learning programmes. We will provide full due diligence paperwork to schools engaging with our provision.

emergency placements

The Outdoors Group can provide emergency placements for learners who need provision quickly or require maximum flexibility.

where do sessions take place?

TLP sessions operate from sites all over Devon and Somerset which can be found at: 

  • Huxham (near Exeter)
  • Dotton Common (near Sidmouth)
  • Okehampton
  • Escot
  • Aldridge Mill (near Tiverton)
  • Exmouth
  • Wellington

Our Transitional Programme Staff

Our team of Transitional Programme Workers are all DBS checked, first aid certified for outdoor learning, and fully qualified and experienced to work with vulnerable learners in the outdoors. Our staff place the wellbeing and positive development of each learner as a priority in every session and, as a company, we are fully compliant with current legislation including data protection, safeguarding, equality and diversity and child protection.

The Outdoors Group is aware of the vulnerabilities of learners using our services and the need to help protect them. We also know the importance of effective communication with schools and have excellent systems in place to ensure this works well for all involved, including contributing to the Team Around the Family (TAF).

Amanda Leach

Amanda Leach

Head of Transitional Learning Programme

Amanda has been working in the education system for about ten years both in America and England as well as directing outdoor adventure activities at summer camps in America. She enjoys bringing her passion for supporting diverse learners to the outdoors. In her free time she enjoys rock climbing and walking her dog in the countryside.
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Mike (Bubs) Whale

Mike (Bubs) Whale

TLP Site Lead

“Bubs” is from a military background but he moved into education upon his retirement. He has been responsible for several successful educational programmes and has a real passion for teaching and learning. He currently delivers TLP, Adult provision and Schools outreach. His spare time is taken up with introducing his grandchildren to the great outdoors.
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Sheridan Couch

Sheridan Couch

TLP Area Manager

Sheridan joined the TLP team in 2020, after working for twenty years as a PE teacher. Sheridan is helping to expand the company as she opens up TLP provision to schools in Somerset with her first site in Wellington. Getting to work outdoors with children in the fresh air in the forest environment is a job Sheridan thoroughly enjoys. Sheridan has always loved playing all sports but now just enjoys watching cricket, rugby and hockey which her two sons play.
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Jake Ward

Jake Ward

TLP Area Manager

Jake has been with the Outdoors Group for several years, running Home Education groups, teen groups, working with visiting schools and setting up and facilitating after school clubs. It was a natural move over to TLP where he wants to bring his love of nature and outdoor learning to our learners. Jake is a Level 4 qualified Bushcraft Instructor and enjoys archery, rugby, practicing primitive technology skills alongside all things connected with natural history.
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Jimi Neary

Jimi Neary

TLP Area Manager

Jim works with young people on the TLP program which he really enjoys, especially watching the development of the students as they become accustomed to a different educational setting, learning new skills and coping mechanisms. Jim has many years of experience in educational and residential placements, and really appreciates the benefits of working in the forest, for staff as well as students, to reconnect with nature. He enjoys kayaking, mountain biking, reading and writing.
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Linda Stephenson

Linda Stephenson

TLP Administrator

As the Transitional Learning Programme Administrator, Linda aims to keep the provision running smoothly and to help you with whatever query you have. She has been working in and around education for more than 20 years, in several different countries including the UK, Poland, Spain and Colombia. In her free time, Linda is happiest when baking or working on a creative project.
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Martin Aplin

Martin Aplin

TLP Site Lead

Martin manages the setting at Dotton Common and has a real passion working with children in the great outdoors and coined the phrase “green time not screen time”. On leaving school Martin trained as a butcher and went on to have a successful career before he took a career break to be a full-time Dad to Henry. Martin started his journey into Forest School attending the Exmouth toddler group with Nick. He loved it so much that when Henry started school, Martin stayed and went on to host birthday parties at Exmouth. He has since completed his Forest Leader training and Bushcraft skills course. In his spare time Martin is an avid Exeter Chiefs fan and loves spending time with the family on their paddleboards.
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Gemma Meredith-Chapman

Gemma Meredith-Chapman

TLP 1:1 Support Worker

Gemma works as a 1:1 support worker for the Transitional Learning Programme. She loves being out in nature and seeing how it can bring out the best in everyone. Gemma is currently studying for her Forest School Level 3 and volunteers as a Beaver Scout leader. In her spare time she loves to read, sing and spend time with her family.
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Gary Cargill

Gary Cargill

TLP Key Worker

Gary works in TLP helping children with behavioural and special needs to learn new skills and provides them with a safe environment in which they can grow. He previously worked in outdoors activities teaching kids rock-climbing, kayaking, archery and other outdoors pursuits. Gary loves anything outdoors and has a real interest in self sufficiency, so he enjoys making things from carving to jam making and taking his family out on walks to see what they can forage.
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Ben Seward

Ben Seward

TLP Key Worker

Ben works in the Transitional Learning Programme providing 1:1 support for our learners. He has worked in outdoor education and pursuits for 5 years and strongly believes in the value of nature as a place for development and discovery. Ben enjoys music, kayaking and mountain biking.
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Ralph Savill

Ralph Savill

TLP Key Worker

Ralph is a TLP Key Worker and Adult Learning Provision Instructor. He has had a successful career in the military and previously worked with young people, providing outdoors education. Outside of work, Ralph enjoys spending quality time with family, friends and carrying out bushcraft.
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Hannah Sutton

Hannah Sutton

TLP Key Worker

Hannah works for the Transitional Learning Programme (TLP) providing 1:1 sessions full of fun activities and lots of campfire cooking. She has a degree in Conservation Biology and used to volunteer at Paignton Zoo. Hannah’s number 1 hobby is crochet and she loves making all kinds of things, especially cosy blankets.
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Frank James

Frank James

TLP Key Worker

Frank is a highly experienced programme worker and has been with the Outdoors Group for over 3 years. He works on a 1-2-1 basis supporting students with varying and sometimes complex additional needs. With an extensive career of working with young people, a love of nature and the outdoors, Frank is a perfect fit for this role. He draws on his experience within formal education and youth work alongside therapeutic roles. Frank is not only a professional quiz master, he has 4 children, 2 grandchildren, 3 dogs and not forgetting the 4 chickens!
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Rachel Holland

Rachel Holland

TLP Key Worker

Rachel works within the Transitional Learning Programme to provide 1:1 support for learners. Her background is within design and marketing but after having her family, her career path changed direction and she has been working within the education sector with learners of all ages from primary to college, over the last 10 years. She loves music and the outdoors and will often be found in her camper van with her family and her dog.
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Lisa Burwood

Lisa Burwood

TLP Key Worker

Lisa works in the Transitional Learning Programme providing 1:1 support for learners. She has worked in Special Education for four years and enjoys supporting learners to explore and discover nature, appreciating the therapeutic value that nature provides for us all. Lisa has a degree in Health and Social Care and has many years experience working with people with a range of different needs. She enjoys being creative, outdoor cooking and getting involved in outdoor games. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys working on her allotment, spending time with friends and family, camping, walking and enjoying the great outdoors.
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Typhaine Dagorn

Typhaine Dagorn

TLP Key Worker

Typh has been working in the social care sector for over a decade, where her role included supporting young people with various disabilities. Typh has an holistic approach to her work; she believes in the benefits of spending time outdoors and exploring our natural environment. She will often bring instruments to her sessions to play in the woods. In her spare time Typh enjoys drumming around a campfire, playing her instruments, paddling in her Dragon boat team and teaching French to children.
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Katharina Beer

Katharina Beer

TLP Key Worker

Kat has worked in various childcare and school settings over the past 12 years. She is currently studying for a post graduate certificate in therapeutic play with the hope of becoming a play therapist. She loves spending time outdoors, especially walking and exploring the woods with her two daughters.
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We came to the TLP shortly after H’s placement in a mainstream school had broken down.

He had severe separation anxiety, social anxiety, and refused to engage with any sort of formal placement as well as all the challenges inherent in being autistic.

H has been a part of the TLP for two years now and it has far surpassed our expectations. He has been cared for and accepted for who he is. He has been gently supported, while at the same time being stretched and encouraged to build relationships with staff and other students. When he comes out of the forest now, he chats about who he has spent time with, what he has done with his day, and even knows his new friends’ names! H has doubled the amount of time he spends in the forest and will even eat there (a huge achievement for H and the staff supporting him!). 

We have found communication between the staff and us to be excellent; whether H’s 1:1 or admin staff, everyone has been friendly, professional, and keen to facilitate the best outcome for H. We have nothing but praise for this excellent programme and the individuals working within it.”

 

“Forest school has had such an amazing positive impact on J and has helped him to learn to regulate himself better. He loves being here and spending time with Bubs. He has been trying harder at school and this is shown by reports sent by the school. He has also earned his bronze award for good behaviour.

I am hoping that he will get to spend more time at forest school and get at least another term.”

We came to the TLP shortly after H’s placement in a mainstream school had broken down.

He had severe separation anxiety, social anxiety, and refused to engage with any sort of formal placement as well as all the challenges inherent in being autistic.

H has been a part of the TLP for two years now and it has far surpassed our expectations. He has been cared for and accepted for who he is. He has been gently supported, while at the same time being stretched and encouraged to build relationships with staff and other students. When he comes out of the forest now, he chats about who he has spent time with, what he has done with his day, and even knows his new friends’ names! H has doubled the amount of time he spends in the forest and will even eat there (a huge achievement for H and the staff supporting him!). 

We have found communication between the staff and us to be excellent; whether H’s 1:1 or admin staff, everyone has been friendly, professional, and keen to facilitate the best outcome for H. We have nothing but praise for this excellent programme and the individuals working within it. Forest school has had such an amazing positive impact on J and has helped him to learn to regulate himself better. He loves being here and spending time with Bubs. He has been trying harder at school and this is shown by reports sent by the school. He has also earned his bronze award for good behaviour. I am hoping that he will get to spend more time at forest school and get at least another term.”

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