SIDCOT SCHOOL OFFERS HORSE TRAINING TO VULNERABLE YOUNG PEOPLE ACROSS NORTH SOMERSET
By YouPR | Friday, July 06, 2012, 09:14
Sidcot School's Equestrian Centre in Winscombe are involved with three education initiatives and post-school training to encourage young people back into learning.
Jane_Keep Sidcot School Equestrian Centre manager
The first programme, Back on Track, sees disengaged pupils aged nine to 13 from local schools taught horse care and riding for two hours –a-week.
Equestrian Centre manager, Jane Keep said: "We have 10 students on Back on Track and they have been transformed.
"One 10-year-old who found it extremely difficult to make friends at school and felt very isolated has been popular and very happy here."
Another Sidcot School riding programme supported six aged 14-plus students over six weeks who had dropped out of school.
Jane said: "These are young people who are not in school and I've seen a remarkable change. One has already signed up for a further education course with us at the centre."
The Equestrian Centre also takes on students from Bristol and Bridgwater colleges who study City of Guilds qualifications under the centre's expert guidance.
Student Eliza Cromwell, 17, of Moorcroft Road, Hutton, said: "I'm dyslexic and found my former school near Weston very difficult to cope with and didn't do well there.
"I've always wanted to work with horses and it's wonderful here. I've been treated with such kindness and feel very happy and relaxed for the first time in a long while."
The Equestrian Centre, which is linked to the National Pony Club, has 25 ponies and horses and is open to the public for tuition and hacks.
It offers training, professional British Horse Society examinations and Riding Road Safety training and examination lessons.
Throughout the summer holidays there is a special wide-ranging programme of activities including 'own your own pony days', four day non-residential pony camps, hacks and expert tuition.
The centre is based at the 300-year-old Quaker school set in 150-acres of unspoilt Mendip hills with spectacular rides in rolling countryside.
Sidcot is the only independent day and boarding Quaker school in the South West and one of only nine in the UK.
Quakers are renowned for their gentle pacifist doctrine and putting kindness into action through peace, equality, simplicity and truth.
New headteacher, Iain Kilpatrick, who takes over on August 1st said: "We have already set up scholarships across the school for gifted children in the community.
"These Equestrian Centre projects are a way of ensuring our unique Quaker ethos supports disengaged young people in the wider area."
For more information on Sidcot School telephone 01934 843 102 or go to www.sidcot.org.uk