Abingdon residents of all ages are benefiting from the growth of a school's countryside centre.

Radley College's farm sits in greenbelt land between the College’s Kennington Road campus and Sugworth Lane.

It offers a host of programmes designed to provide support to people in the community.

Herald Series: Lambing season at the farmLambing season at the farm (Image: Radley College)

The Capstone Programme, the centre's core offering, is aimed at helping teenagers who are on the verge of exclusion from secondary school.

These teenagers have been placed on a reduced timetable at school and spend two or three days per week at the farm engaging in activities such as building log sheds, planting trees, tending to livestock, fishing, gardening, and gaining knowledge on horticulture.

Herald Series: A bushcraft sessionA bushcraft session (Image: Radley College)

Charlie Herbert, director of Countryside Centre Partnerships at Radley College, said: "Getting these kids out of the classroom – which doesn’t really work for them – and giving them a degree of independence and responsibility has had a profound impact on these young people.

"They’re more confident and have greater self-esteem, but their schools are telling us that their conduct at school is much better and they’re far happier."

Pauline Wileman, deputy head at Fitzharrys School, said: "We are thrilled with the results and have noticed a reduction in behavioural incidents since they’ve started on the programme, showing that our pupils are more grounded and happier because of this work."

Besides hosting school visits, the centre also welcomes children who are suffering from trauma or who are recent arrivals in the UK striving to get used to life in England.

The countryside centre also has a partnership with Oxford Head Injury Services.

Herald Series: The centre has a partnership with Oxford Head Injury ServicesThe centre has a partnership with Oxford Head Injury Services (Image: Radley College)

This initiative has supported Tony Warwick, an Abingdon resident, in his recovery from a stroke.

He said: "I come here with a couple of friends who are in a similar position, and we enjoy spending time with the animals, planting trees and flowers, and learning new skills.

"I don’t have much mobility in my left-hand side because of my stroke and coming here helps with my symptoms.

John Moule, warden of Radley College, added: "We know that mainstream education isn’t for everybody, but we don’t want to see children’s education curtailed because of that.

"If we can offer a limited intervention to help them achieve their long-term potential, then that is a very important thing for us to do.

Herald Series: A Radley College pupil during lambing seasonA Radley College pupil during lambing season (Image: Radley College)

"The countryside centre is a unique resource, and I am very proud of the role it is playing in our local community."

Oxford Mail and The Oxford Times, in partnership with Radley College, is pleased to launch Bright Ideas – a new competition celebrating creativity in Oxfordshire.

We are asking children in Year 4 and 5 from local primary schools to unlock their imagination and create a response to theme of 'Keys'.

Children can submit whatever feels most personal or appropriate to them. The entry form can be found at the bottom of this page.

They may wish to write a story, poem or song, or make a video, design project, artwork or game.

Shortlisted entries will be invited to a presentation morning at Radley College on Saturday, June 29.

The winner will receive a £100 voucher and a trophy.

We are delighted that Jamie Laing will be the judge.

Oxford-born Jamie attended Radley College before making his name on television and building a number of successful businesses, including the much-loved sweet company, Candy Kittens.

Jamie is looking for imagination and flair, so submit your entry by 9pm on Friday, May 24.

Stories and poems can be a maximum of 600 words while songs and videos can be up to four minutes long.

Shortlisted artwork, design project and games can be brought to the presentation morning.

To submit a video or audio file for this competition, you will need to indicate that on the competition form and then email brightideascompetition@oxfordmail.co.uk

We will then share a secure link to submit the file.

If you have any questions, please contact communications@radley.org.uk