Many of our students have rejected traditional schools for many different reasons, and so our approach is to provide an educational setting that doesn’t look and feel like a school.

Our Romsey site is based at our Outdoor Learning Centre at Ridge Farm, near Romsey. It has various indoor areas, including multiple relaxed classrooms, a food tech kitchen, a large indoor recreation room and fully accessible toilets. It also benefits from some amazing outdoor education facilities, including an indoor archery range, an extensive climbing wall barn, a huge area of woodland and various other areas for a range of outdoor education sessions. In addition to this, we use other local venues to support the delivery of watersports and educational visits.

The OLC-AE has the use of two school farms to support a wide range of horticulture and animal care engagement activities and qualifications. We accept KS1 to KS4 at the OLC Alternative Education setting.


Our curriculum is based on engaging young people with learning by inspiring an interest in the world around them. We use project-based learning and individual interests to build an intrinsic motivation based on progressively increasing positive associations.

When appropriate, we provide explicit lessons appropriate to the young persons identified needs. We conduct comprehensive baseline assessments using a range of assessment tools and background information from previous settings and external professionals.

We aim to provide awards and certificates that support and enhance future outcomes. These include functional skills, GCSE, Open Awards regulated vocational awards and AQA unit awards.


We passionately believe in the transformative power of the outdoors. We utilise the stunning natural environment which surrounds us to engage, chal- lenge and excite the young people we work with and as a vehicle to explore concepts such as risk, relationships and resilience.

At OLC Alternative Education, we see each young person as an individual who needs a distinct approach and strategy to re-engage them with educa- tion and learning. OLC Alternative Education prides itself on designing a curriculum to match the young person rather than expecting them to fit the curriculum. Young people who have had limited engagement in other settings will not only find an entire academic timetable too stressful and de- manding, causing them to disengage, but it will not meet their social, emotional, and behavioural development needs.

Targets, participation and engagement are monitored daily for all young people, with our ‘School Information Management’ system being used to record instances of both positive and negative learning and engagement. This allows staff to evidence and evaluate the effectiveness of any interven- tion and adjust it accordingly.


Isle of Wight


I have seen real positive change in AA and he now appears to want to increase and start to engage in his learning opportunities. It goes without saying how you have all helped to shape him with your involvement into his education package.

Parent of AA, Year 3

So refreshing that he is self-motivated to get out of bed and come to the OLC. He has never been a child that felt able to do this even from Primary School. It’s always been a struggle to get him to school. He now just wants to come!

Parent of ZC, Year 9

CC really enjoyed it and it has helped us engage him in a more meaningful way today. He has even been able to accept negative information from us and his carers. I know it is early days but I get the sense he was grateful for having the opportunity and it really helped build a sense that as adults we are here for him.

Headteacher, Nightingale Primary School