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Whirlow Hall Farm Trust

Provision for post sixteen clients with additional learning needs. 9:30am-3pm, Monday to Friday, fifty weeks of the year. Caring for the farm animals, planting and growing crops, independent living skills, cooking sessions, work experience in our shop and café, natural art and craft sessions, Yoga, AQA unit awards, on-site residential stays, all in a peaceful farm and countryside environment.


Whirlow Hall Farm Trust is based on a 138 acre working farm on the edge of Sheffield. Throughout the year we provide a wide range of inclusive activities for people of all ages that are designed to improve life chances, enrich and educate. We have a large number of chickens, sheep, cows and pigs. We also have ponies including Frankie the Shetland pony, goats, ducks, geese, rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Quail and have an apiary run by our bee-keeping volunteers. We also run a vineyard and orchard. Our shop sells local produce and is home to our new butchery. Our newly expanded café provides a great place to chat whilst sampling good food.
Throughout the year (except the Christmas holidays) we run a bespoke provision called Whirlow L.I.F.E. (Learning In a Farming Environment) for people with Additional Learning Needs. Projects include

  • Caring for the farm animals
  • Planting and growing crops
  • Independent living skills
  • Cooking sessions
  • Natural art and craft sessions
  • Work experience in our shop and café
  • Where appropriate, working on AQA unit awards
  • With permission, overnight stays in our residential hall or barn with a focus on independent living skills

We work with each individual to provide the very best experience. Projects are designed to be on going and build on previous work. We are always looking for new projects that allow our learners to grow.

During term time we also

  • Deliver enriching day and residential visits for schools, community groups, and other organisations that include a wide range of curriculum linked educational sessions
  • Work with primary age children who are excluded or are at risk of exclusion from main stream education
  • Deliver a wide range of sessions for children aged 14-16, as part of the Sheffield Councils Alternative Provision network
  • Work with special schools and colleges to meet the needs of their learners who attend on a weekly basis
  • Partner with the Sheffield College in providing their students with the practical experience necessary to meet the requirements of Animal Care and Agriculture courses

During weekends and holidays we

  • Are open to the general public and offer guided tours and animal handling, donations welcome.
  • Run a SNIPS (Special Needs Inclusion Playcare Service) group every half term, twice at Easter and every week through the summer holidays
  • Run Tots-in-the-Woods and Tots-on-the-Farm sessions for ages 0-5
  • Run horse care and farm based play schemes
  • Host activities run by Sheffield Autistic Society and Sheffield Young Carers

Residential units sleeping 12 in each building are available for hire and farm buildings are available for events and wedding receptions. 

We offer a wide range of volunteering opportunities across the entire organisation.
During the year we stage a number of fundraising events that are open to the public including Lambing Days, Farm Fayre, Christmas Fayre, music and comedy nights.

Who to contact

Contact Name
John Gray
Contact Position
Head of Education & Development
0114 236 0096 (Education Office)
0114 262 0986 (Farm Shop & Catering)
0114 235 2678 (Events Office)

Where to go

Whirlow Hall Farm Trust
Whirlow Lane
South Yorkshire
S11 9QF

When is it on?

Session Information
Whirlow L.I.F.E. Fifty weeks a year, Monday to Thursday 9:30am-3pm
Term Time: Monday-Friday 9am-4.30pm (pre-booked educational visits only)
Saturday, Sunday & Bank Holiday Mondays 10am-4pm Summer & 10am-3pm Winter (farm open to the public, guided farm tours on the hour every hour)
Farm Shop. Open Wednesday-Sunday term time and seven days during holidays 10am-5pm
Farm Cafe. Open Wednesday-Sunday term time and seven days during holidays 10am-4:30pm

Inclusion Information

Wheelchair Access
Supports special needs and disabilities
Special needs and disabilities experience
Speech, Language & Communication needs
Down's Syndrome
Visual impairment
Multi-Sensory Impairment
Hearing impairment
Cerebral Palsy
No diagnosis yet
Social, emotional and mental health needs
Medical Needs or long term illness
Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Profound & Multiple Learning Difficulty
Severe Learning Difficulty
Moderate Learning Difficulty
Physical Disability/Mobility Issues

Other Details


Table of costs
Table of costs
AmountCost Type
Whirlow L.I.F.E. £50 Per day
Primary Nurture Group £50 Per day
Secondary Alternative Provision £50
  • Parking
  • Disabled Facilities


Local Publications
Publishes Quarterly Newsletter and various Leaflets
Charity Number

Local Offer


Whirlow L.I.F.E. (Learning In a Farming Environment)

Runs every week of the year except the Christmas holidays. If for any reason we can't run a session we attempt to give as much notice as possible. The only short notice scenario is if it has snowed heavily and the farm is inaccessible or dangerous for vehicles.

Whirlow L.I.F.E. is a bespoke provision for people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities who access a Personal Budget. Projects focus on developing team work, confidence, self-esteem and life skills and include

  • Caring for the farm animals
  • Planting and growing crops
  • Cooking sessions
  • Life skills
  • Natural art and craft sessions
  • Work experience in our shop and café
  • Caring for and training Harriet the Barn Owl
  • Where appropriate, working on AQA unit awards
  • With permission, over night stays in our residential hall or barn with a focus on life skills

We focus on the individual and will always work with them to provide the best outcomes. Projects are designed to be ongoing and build on previous work. We are always looking for new projects that allow our learners to grow.

The base of all activities is our purpose built learning centre containing three classrooms, kitchen, disabled toilets, smart board and laptops.

Unless the weather is really bad many of our activities take place outside. Overalls and steel toecapped boots are provided by the farm and need to be worn during these activities.


We run SNIPS days through the holidays. SNIPS provides opportunities for parent/carers of children and young people with special needs and disabilities to take short respite breaks from caring, knowing that their child/children will be in a safe and supportive play environment. The activities are farm and animal focused with the children getting lots of fresh air. Please contact ourselves for more information or the SNIPS team for enrolment.

Contact Name
John Gray
Contact Telephone
0114 2360096
Contact Email
Local Offer Age Bands
Secondary (11-16 years)
Transitions to Adulthood (16+)
SEN Provision Type

General Extended Local Offer Response

Eligibility criteria for your service and any priority groups 

Our service aims to be inclusive.

Do you operate a waiting list? 
Waiting list details 

We are currently full Tuesday and Wednesday.

We currently wish to expand the provision to Monday and Thursday.

Please contact to discuss your requirements.

Staffing arrangements 
Able to assist children/young people to access all activities and services
Staffing arrangements details 

Our Whirlow L.I.F.E. programme is developed and run by our educational team. All staff are either qualified to Level 5 or are working towards a level 5 teaching qualification, have a wide range of experience and qualifications in animal care and agriculture and all staff have extensive experience in working with children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. All our staff undertake regular enhanced DBS checks.

Many of our learners attend with personal assistants. At the moment Whirlow Hall Farm Trust cannot supply personal assistants so this would need to be organised by parent/carers in advance.

We aim to keep our group size between six and eight learners. 

How do you communicate with your service users? 
Directly with parents/carers
Progress updates provided
Communicating with service users details 

The programme is designed to work with the individual. We will discuss individual needs, on an on-going basis, with our learners as well as parents/carers and aim to meet all expectations. We provide regular updates in the form of newsletters.

Last Updated
SEND, alternative provision, outdoor learning, farm, independent living skills, communication skills, employability skills, whirlow hall farm
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