Growing Futures students recently opened the new classroom building at Newquay Orchard which will be their base for learning in the urban greenspace from now on.

The sustainable timber frame building took 12 months to complete and houses two classrooms and a teaching kitchen. It is a dedicated teaching environment where the students, aged 16-19, or 16-25 with an Educational, Health, Care Plan (EHCP), can achieve their maths and English GCSEs and learn how to cook the produce they have helped to grow on the seven-acre site.

Sarah Anthony, education manager at Newquay Orchard, believes this space will help the students thrive. She said: “Newquay Orchard is a great alternative learning environment however now we’ve got these indoor spaces we are able to broaden our curriculum offer of skills development and better respond to students’ areas of interest.

“Since opening the building we’ve held cookery lessons using foraged food from around the orchard and invited external experts such as a sign language practitioner to teach the students,” added Sarah.

Formerly the students were taught in a classroom inside the Kowel Gwenen community building which shares a space with Canteen at the Orchard. Now this space is free to be used by community groups, events and Newquay Orchard volunteers.

Growing Futures is a full-time study programme based at Newquay Orchard. It is suited to young people aged 16–18 or 18-24 for people with an Education Health Care Plan who thrive in alternative learning environments.