Foundation Skills for Life

Who is the programme for?

If you are between 16 and 25 years old, have special educational needs and require additional support, our programme will prepare you for the next exciting steps in your life. You will attend College four days per week, Monday to Thursday from 9:30am to 3:30pm.

What are the entry requirements?

To apply you will need to ask your Local Authority to consult with Orchard Hill College. All applicants must have an active Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). We would like to meet you for an assessment before you join us at College. We want to make sure this is the right programme for you and talk about how we can focus your learning around your chosen area of interest.

About the programme

This programme has been designed to make you as independent as possible. We will work with you as an individual to build a bespoke programme to help you to achieve the outcomes in your EHCP. The programme will support you to prepare for adulthood in all four pathways: Good Health, Independent Living, Employment and Friends and Relationships in the Community. We can help you get the most out of your community and build a post college timetable full of activities and groups that interest you so that you can live your best possible life after College.

Here’s how we will achieve it together

We want you to become as independent as possible. We will support you to make new friends, travel more independently and try new things at College and in your local community.

You will have opportunities to:

  • Take part in vocational taster sessions
  • Access the community
  • Take part in an enrichment programme
  • Get involved in volunteering, supported or part-time employment
  • Develop your skills in a real-life setting (including short breaks if appropriate)

You can get involved and take part in our enrichment activities at College and in the community including sport, health and wellbeing, creative and performing arts. We want you to be a happy, healthy and confident student.

By the end of the programme we will have helped you move forward in your life and you will have achieved some or all of the goals below as appropriate:

  • Accessed valuable work experience if appropriate
  • Accessed real life independent living skills
  • Grown your circle of friends and support network
  • Be able to live more independently or have transitioned to supported living, a home sharing scheme or a personalised assisted living scheme.

Foundation Skills for Life is delivered across all our College regions.


Throughout the programme we will support you to develop your core skills which will reduce barriers to curriculum and community engagement including communication, digital skills and resilience and managing change. We will embed maths and English learning at the right level for you in all of your learning.

As well as the teaching team delivering your programme, we will provide you with any specialist therapy and nursing support, you may need, where stated in your EHCP.

Our Partners 

We have excellent links with our local communities and work with a wide range of partners so that you can blossom in your chosen area of interest. Here are just a few:

Sainsbury’s, Westcroft Leisure Centre, local libraries, Sutton Community Farms, British Heart Foundation, Waitrose, Mencap, Rural Activities Garden Centre, Oxfam, Shared Lives, Kingston Eco, Riverside Community Centre, Deen City Farm, David Weir Leisure Centre, Tooting Leisure Centre, Thrive, Canons Leisure Centre, The Old Vic, Books Beyond Words, Camberwell Arts Project, DASH Centres, Baked Bean Company, YMCA, Tom’s Farm and allotment, Kennington Flowerbeds Project, Into Sport, Home Farm Trust and many more.