Oakfield has been a key part of Swindon and the alternative provision available to schools and young people for many years.
'I feel supported and I enjoy coming here.' - Year 11 Oakfield student
Oakfield joined the EOTAS family in September 2019 and is an important part of our Alternative Provision offer. Oakfield provides bespoke learning and well-being packages to Key Stage 4 students. The focus remains on an alternative learning pathway to engage young people who find success away from a traditional school environment.
Oakfield students all access accredited courses for English and Maths, alongside a wide range of options which support personal development. This includes Art, Home Cooking Skills, BTEC Sport and BTEC SWEET (Personal and Social Development). We deliver healthy living such as boxing, football, horticulture and a range of outdoor educational experiences such as residential camp. The framework at Oakfield has always been based on experiential learning to help meet the needs of the young people. We pride ourselves on supporting our young people to transition successfully into post-16 education, apprenticeships and work, offering not only vocational and pre-16 College days as part of students’ weekly timetables, but also key events such as the Oakfield annual careers event One Step Closer… To Success and 1:1 mentoring and pastoral support. We are planning to improve the Oakfield offer and curriculum further and we are currently developing an enterprise project linked to hospitality and catering.
We strongly believe students should have a true democratic educational experience and alongside other EOTAS provision, Oakfield believes in democratic values to education where students are a part of a community of equals, where they have a significant say in their educational experience. Students are given several opportunities to provide feedback and voice their opinions on how we can improve our delivery both academically and through the pastoral and personal development curriculum. We aim to provide them with an environment where they feel empowered and can thrive. We remain resolute to ensure we have positive destination pathways in place to deliver 100% September guarantees for all our young people.
Interim Associate Lead – Kate Hooper Hudson
Our Alternative Providers
Below are the external providers we work with who provide a range of different learning opportunities which contribute to our curriculum offer for Oakfield students.
IProveit: Individual or paired mentoring sessions focusing on health, fitness and behaviours to support young people in building their resilience and confidence as young adults. Home (Business) (iprovefit.co.uk)
Hinton Marsh Farm: Paired half-day sessions focusing on farm and woodland based learning and mentoring. About us (getintune.co)
Wheels Workshop: Paired half-day sessions focusing on moped, motorcycle and bike mechanics. Welcome (wheelsworkshop.org)
Boxing: Group sessions and paired mentoring/boxing sessions. BEST (bestrust.co.uk)
Friends of Oakfield
It began as Close to Home and was formed by Swindon Borough Council and the Youth service to attempt to engage local year 11s who were refusing education, after the closing of the Oakfield School, to form the University of Bath in Swindon. The programme engaged young people with youth work and local schools they wouldn’t attend. From Close to Home, came the next phase in its evolution to form YEP - Youth Education Project and the forerunner to Oakfield.
Youth Education Project: The Swindon Youth Service alongside education was to form YEP, to provide vulnerable learners a fairer opportunity to access a more academic curriculum. This was an equal partnership between SBC, Swindon secondary schools and the youth service. The project incorporated youth work, informal education, transition to pre and post 16 college, outwards bounds and PSHE. A partnership with Swindon College was formed as there was funding for vulnerable students and so the first vocational carousel courses were formed.
Oakfield: Six schools and SBC stepped in to fund the project in 2014, as they did not wish to lose the provision. It continued to be a partnership between informal education (youth work led) and formal education.