River Valley - AP - Bike Circuit

Who We Are

River Valley is a specialist alternative outdoor education provision, which ADO setup in January 2018. Since starting, we have provided short term, emergency, respite and long-term placements for Children and Young People (CYP) from Key Stage 4 (Year 10), to Post-16 further education with a wide range of needs.

We operate a specialist model that brings together our expertise in both Education and Therapeutic services. We are ideally placed to offer alternative academic services, with a unique holistic approach, utilising the delivery skillset we have in both services, combining them to produce flexible learner centred programmes for students. We provide both indoor and outdoor locations for students and are a registered training and exam centre for AQA, Pearson-BTECs and JCQ.

River Valley is currently in the process of submitting our registration to Ofsted with the aim of becoming a Registered Specialist Outdoor Further Education Centre for KS4 to Post16 (with a potential to extend this service up to the age of 25 pending interest).

We focus on supporting YP who have Social, Emotional, Mental Health issues and associated needs such as Learning Difficulties, and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. We aim to work specifically with YP who have a career aim or interest in one of our bespoke career pathways.



Our Story

The ADO story started in very humble beginnings in 2009 and over the years since, our services and company have organically grown and matured, gaining invaluable experience that has now allowed us to focus on the education and therapeutic sectors, combining them to produce a unique holistic service that can deliver and help the needs of children and young people for the future.             Find Out More

ADO River Valley - Countryside BTEC - Mending Gates

Specialist Education - Therapeutic Approach

Our provision is a specialised education setting that aims to create flexible, individual programmes of learning support for children and young people who, for a variety of reasons, may be unable to access mainstream education or may have been NEET for an extended period.

From the point of referral, we focus on the SEND and SEMH of the learner and on supporting their family, in order to provide the most effective and appropriate educational intervention.

Our provision specialises in CYP including those with learning difficulties, emotional behavioural difficulties, challenging behaviour and medical health needs including mental health difficulties. Our team of trained therapists are multi-skilled and are used to delivering educational programmes as part of a curriculum.

Our team includes staff trained with a therapeutic approach to support CYP to learn coping skills enabling them to engage in education and provide skills for life. Our model is based upon CBT to upskill CYP to change or challenge their thoughts, to impact their emotions and subsequent behaviour. A high proportion of referrals have experienced trauma and of the many CYP we had in our cohort, up to 84% have had an EHCP. We work with borough virtual schools and have a frequent number of LAC requiring emergency placements and a therapeutic approach to education.

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ADO River Valley - BTEC - Equine

Experience Matters

Although our provision only started in 2018, ADO and many of its staff have had many years of experience delivering educational and therapeutic programmes. We offer an innovative and creative model for learners, their families, schools and local authorities within a therapeutic environment and specialist trained therapy staff team on hand. Our aim is to reintegrate the CYP back into mainstream education where ever possible, ensuring that they 'step down' from our services in a smooth transition, without placing them or their families under pressure.

We work in small classes (1:3) or 1:1 and offer individual CYP learner centred programmes to meet their needs and interests, enabling CYP to learn whilst developing confidence and self-esteem.

Sustainable Service 

During the COVID-19 lockdown, ADO continued to provide support for CYP and their families by remaining open to those who were able to still come to the provision. It proved our model was sustainable under testing circumstances and only made us more determined to implement our School Improvement Plan (SIP). The ultimate aim of the SIP is to deliver an OFSTED Independent School registration by September 2022.  It is a complex document that involves many projects and tasks to not only improve our already succesful provision, but to exceed the very highest levels to ensure we are best placed in the future to scale up to what will be an even more growing demand for CYP who will have inextricably suffered as a result of the pandemic.

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