A little bit about us:
In 2013 SureCare residential identified the need for a specialised nurturing educational setting for young people, and began the process of developing an Independent school to meet this need – White Trees Independent School was founded.
The school is currently based in rural Ongar, and is registered at present to provide education for up to 12 students, Becky Verallo-Graves was employed July 2016 to lead the school and has previously worked in a variety of roles in the education system for the last 13yrs, she has a strong passion for teaching young people on the cusp of society. Becky’s work has always been firmly rooted in the belief that emotional wellbeing and good mental health underpin good learning. Something that her team are also passionate about. Becky leads a team of five practitioners, each skilled to complement one another and deliver lessons in a creative, informal and engaging style, all motivated by their passion to teach and deliver a bespoke package of learning to meet the student where they are at!
OCR, Assessments and much more at WhiteTrees
2017 has seen White Trees become an accredited OCR centre to deliver Functional Skills in Maths, English and ICT, additional to this Becky & her deputy have linked White Trees with Skills Builder one of the most comprehensive e-learning solutions for functional skills and GCSE that incorporates Ofsted compliant assessments. It was a real joy to see our confident post 16 students leave White Trees in July with formal qualifications, having also secured themselves college placements on the back of their qualifications. Becky and Lukas strongly believe these achievements were a direct response to White Trees providing a safe and secure learning environment, subsequently creating successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens. Who are now embarking onto further education.
White Trees delivers education both at the school, but also away from the setting, catering for the variety of behaviours that our students present. No two days are ever the same, students are offered a bespoke package, which will include maths & English, and can include cookery, art, work experience and music lessons, boxing, gym, kick boxing, swimming or trampolining. There is also opportunity to gain additional qualifications like this year’s student body who left with a first aid qualification. Educational trips and access to the wider curriculum in the form of ‘Topic work’ is available, building in science, history and geography and some social action projects like this year’s link with the Essex Braintree food bank and wider projects like our Christmas shoe box appeal with young people living in very rural Kabale in South Western Uganda. We cover a variety of PHSE topics that are very applicable to our cohort such as:
- Personal and online safety
- Sexual health
- Health relationships
- Positive body image, self-esteem, emotional health, anger management, and positive thinking
- Resilience and adapting to change
- Dealing with stress and anxiety
- Substance misuse and awareness including alcohol, drugs and smoking
- The criminal justice system
- Self harm
White Trees is flexible in their approach and the teaching team are skilled in adapting their planning to suit the changing mood and cooperation levels of the students they are presented with.
IIam Hall Peak District
Another first for White Trees! During the final term of 2017, the staff team enabled the students to experience their first school residential. Sleeping up to 122 people the18th century gothic castle is set in 82 acres of fabulous parkland. IIam was our base for 2 nights to accommodate our trip to Alton Towers and enjoy the white-knuckle rides. These were the reviews by our students….
‘I loved every minute of our residential trip and would do it again if I got the chance, the staff were good and all the activities well organised. The Castle was quiet but I loved it!” S
‘I would like to go again, I really enjoyed both the trips, and found it relaxing and chilling. The trips were well planned and beneficial for everyone. The only thing I would change is they could do with better Wi-Fi!’ R
Becky has linked White Trees with Hertfordshire County Council Youth Connexions who support schools and colleges to prepare students for their next steps, but gives them a regional, national and global perspective of the world of work. White Trees are preparing to start work experience placements in the September term. 55% of employers consider school leavers lack work experience and the key attributes that set them up for success, including self-management, problem solving and attitude to work. Another invaluable learning opportunity of our students.
T: 01279 505 326