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Foundation Studies (SEND)

Tailored Courses for Students with Learning Difficulties, Support Needs and Disabilities

Available at both our Peterlee and Houghall campuses, our foundation programme is a general course with specific foundation learning pathways. The Pathways offer a wide range of subjects tailored to the correct level to meet the needs of each individual learner.

A wide variety of subjects are offered and learners can follow a combination of subjects including:

  • Animal care
  • Agriculture
  • Poultry
  • Horse care
  • Conservation
  • Horticulture
  • Recycling
  • Floristry
  • IT
  • Independent living skills/travel training

Learners also work to improve communication, literacy and IT skills

The programmes are taught via practical and theoretical sessions at the appropriate level, with additional support provided in all classes when necessary.

Learners will be assessed on their acquisition of skills in accordance with the criteria laid down by the awarding body. Assessments will be part of their ongoing work or as a specific test.

The department caters for a wide range of students, including:

  • School leavers aged 16 to 19 with emotional and behavioural difficulties or moderate learning difficulties, who need a little help and extra support before moving onto a full time vocational course or into employment.
  • School leavers aged 19+ with a range of learning difficulties and/or disabilities who need additional help and support in small groups.
  • Adults aged 19-25 with an EHCP and a range of learning difficulties and/or disabilities who need additional help and support in small groups.


Important Information About Our Foundation Courses

Length of Course

One, two or three years depending on the needs of the learner.

Houghall Facilities

The Houghall campus has undergone a £13.25 million redevelopment in recent years, so you can be sure Houghall is an excellent place to study.

However, please note: East Durham College’s Houghall campus is committed to providing a supportive and welcoming environment for all our students. The campus, some of which is over 80 years old, has seen over £13.25m invested in new facilities over the last 5 years. However, there are still some aspects of the site which are not fully accessible and would cause an issue for those with limited mobility or wheelchair users; and due to the nature of the site, adjustments may not always be reasonable at this stage. The College is committed to further investment and improvements of the site, as we work towards ensuring the campus is as accessible as possible. If you have limited mobility or are a wheelchair user and wish to undertake a course at the Houghall campus, please contact Student Services on 0191 375 4710 in the first instance to discuss your needs and options.

Progression/Career Opportunities

Students who successfully complete their pathway may progress on to a higher level within the Foundation Department or further pathways within the College at a more advanced level e.g. Level 1 Diploma Work Based Land Based Operations or Level 1 Diploma in Land Based Studies (Horse Care).

Our staff are friendly and experts in this area and will make sure students feel safe and are provided you with the best possible learning environment for their development.

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