"My time at the Orchardside had its ups and downs but overall it was one of the best times of my life. The option of going back to school was given to me from the start. In a sense I was one of the lucky ones because I took the option of coming back to school and it's been the best decision of my life. I believe that the support I received from the staff at the PRU was second to none and this was continued throughout my journey into school. At the moment I am studying 3 A-levels, which are Law, Sport and Business. I further believe that the experience I have had at the PRU has shaped my future for the better and I thank all the teachers that were there for supporting me."
Previous student at mainstream school
"I attended Orchardside from age 14 up until I finished secondary school. I would describe my experience being at this school as life changing as I entered there very troubled and unserious about education, to leaving knowing what I wanted to become and how I would achieve that. During my time at Orchardside I met people who I look up to as second parents and could confide in the staff with any issues I had and worries about personal life. Little did I know how much of an impact they made on me and how much wiser I’ve become from taking their advice. Overall I would describe my time at Orchardside as challenging but a true life changing experience as I have met lifelong friends and have those memories to hold onto for life."
"Whilst at Eldon, I had the opportunity to work on myself emotionally and intellectually. The staff were patient and gave me a lot of support to progress and finding better ways to manage my emotions. I was able to reintegrate into mainstream school and achieve 9 A*-B GCSE's. I then progressed on to my A Levels and achieved A*AB. I am currently a Law student at the University of Warwick and hoping to pursue a career in commercial law or teaching".
"When I first started at Orchardside I had just moved from a PRU in South London so it was quite a big change for me. I had a lot of anger but the staff were lovely and guided me through it. The teachers there are amazing, I don’t know how I would have got through without them. I started in year 9 and finished in year 11 with 5 GCSE's. I had a lot of issues and they guided me through it and were very understanding. I can’t believe how much Orchardside changed my life. I have recently completed 2 years at college where I gained a Distinction in Business and I am now attending university where I am doing a degree in Business. I am also working and driving! I thank all the staff very much and they are truly amazing people and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them"
Year 11 Leaver, July 2017
"My time at Orchardside was better than I thought it would be! The teachers there are calm and take the time out to listen to you. I was able to develop good relationships with some teachers who I went to when I needed to talk or had any issues. I found the small class sizes relaxing and I was able to focus better. Orchardside gave us the opportunity to attend a vocational college course one a week which I really enjoyed and it helped me realise what I would like to do when I’m older. I achieved 5 GCSEs and have now gone on to study Construction at college. In the future I would like to own my own painting and decorating company".
Year 11 Leaver, July 2019