Welcome to The Orchards

Head of School’s Welcome

A warm welcome to The Orchards. We are all very proud to have opened a brand new special needs school catering for the needs of primary aged pupils in Trafford.

‘Our educational vision is “They come this way only once so we should litter the pathways through quality experiences”. The Orchards is a place where everyone is valued for their individuality and can develop their potential through quality experiences.

We feel that effective education is based on a strong partnership between school and home with the child being at the centre. We strive to build good, honest relationships with all our parents and carers.

We plan many exciting and enriching activities each term and strive to make learning as much fun as possible. We aim to offer the children first hand experiences on which to build their skills and knowledge.

We aim to promote the self-management of behaviour and give children a range of strategies to communicate their needs. We want your children to be aspirational and we aim to teach them learning strategies in order for them to develop a real love of learning. Our children will learn HOW to learn, not just what to learn.

We hope you will take every opportunity to engage with us by communicating through the home/school diaries, questionnaires, parent/teacher meetings, and informal chats. Our school is very much a community where all voices are listened to and valued.

All parents and carers are welcome to join the PTA (Parent Teacher Association). The group has not yet been established and we are looking forward to developing the group and working with them to support the school.

The school has a very supportive Local Governing body. They play a key role within school supporting and challenging senior leaders and subject co-ordinators and can often be seen at whole school events and special occasions.

All the staff at The Orchards are passionate about the children in their care and education in general. We aim to know every child personally, even if they are not in our class.  Teachers and leaders regularly attend courses to expand their knowledge and skills. Furthermore, through our capacity as a Teaching School and as part of The Dunham Trust, members of staff regularly use their expertise to support and develop staff in other schools. We see ourselves as lifelong learners and would like our pupils to develop the same philosophy.

We value extra-curricular opportunities within school and aim to develop our specialisms of creativity and sport to become an inspirational school. A broad range of activities will be on offer to the pupils including art, dance, music, skiing and we have employed experts in their field to support with this.

We hope you enjoy our website.  If you would like to see any further information on it, or have any comments to make, please email: admin@theorchards.trafford.sch.uk – we really value feedback.

We look forward to working with you in partnership to enable your child to flourish and succeed.


Clare Larkin 

Head of School

The Orchards



Executive Principal and CEO of The Dunham Trust's Welcome


A very warm welcome to The Dunham Trust and The Orchard's website.  It is my pleasure to introduce you to a team of professionals within the Trust who love the vocation they have chosen to follow.  The child is at the centre of everything we do.  I am privileged to work with a Board of Directors who have a vast range of experience within industry and education, their intent is that The Dunham Trust will be the best it can be, for the young people within our care.


The Trust was established in 2013, when it consisted of two schools, Elmridge Primary an Outstanding Primary School, Cohort 1 Teaching School and Acre Hall Primary, a rapidly improving Primary School.  In March 2015, Lord Nash agreed to the development of The Orchards Free School, a primary school for young people with need, within Trafford. The Trust believes in quality in all aspects, therefore under my direction our growth is measured and sustainable.


Elmridge Primary was refurbished in 2014 at a cost of £1.3 million, Acre Hall has enjoyed a £4 million  rebuild and The Orchards will move into a £5 million new build in December 2017.


The Dunham Trust is a fledgling Trust, it is very clear in its educational aims and expectations.  We look forward to developing a relationship with you.


Jo Appleyard

Executive Principal and CEO

The Dunham Trust