Wiltshire Publications

Fairfield Farm College: An inspiring place for young people

Tom and Rory on reception

Tom and Rory on reception

FAIRFIELD Farm College (FFC) in Dilton Marsh  provides its students with opportunities to learn new skills which prepare them for adult life in the community.

Dr Tina Pagett, principal of Fairfield College explains the importance of the school. “FFC offers an individual programme to each of its students to support their learning needs.  The college specialises in working with young people who are interested in gaining pre-vocational and independence skills.

“Every young person matters, so our curriculum is designed to include the five key issues included in the Every Child Matters philosophy and we work to ensure that students at the college; are healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution and achieve economic well-being.

“We offer a work-placed learning environment with ‘real’ work training opportunities in FFC’s farm shop, café and reception.

“The pre-vocational subject areas include  engineering, horse studies, farming, woodworking skills, horticulture and catering. The students choose which area they would like to learn.

“Everything we grow in the horticultural area is used in the cafe or sold in the shop. It is about teaching the students how to be self sufficient.

“Funding for specialist schools is limited and we are a charity so we rely on donations and fundraising.

“The community support the cafe but not the shop so much, but we are trying to encourage the local people to use the shop more.”

Coming soon to the college is a children’s play area and a small animal walk. Tina Pagett added, “When people want to come and have a look at the animals there is a problem with health and safety. So the path will allow the public to look around safely.”

They also have recently built a conference room on the site, which will be available for the public to hire for events. It has a fully functioning kitchen so can be used for parties and dinners, as well as business meetings and conferences.

Tina is passionate about what the site has to offer the young people and what they achieve whilst they are there.

“Tony Haines is a brilliant example of how the college helps the young people. Tony is a former student of the college and now is a full time, paid member of staff. He is a valuable, important and hugely appreciated part of our team. We are very proud of what he has achieved.”

Tina looks forward to what the future has to hold for the college. “The plan for the future is to access every opportunity for them. We have hope and ambition for the future because ultimately we are here for the young people and want to continue providing opportunities for them.”