Spending time on the farm.
Over the course of two weeks in November 2017, 20 Deer Park pupils, in four small groups of five, each spent a memorable day at Abbey Home Farm, just outside Cirencester. The Farm Project initiative supports schools and pupils with their engagement in school. As they say, ‘Learning outside a traditional classroom offers exciting and invaluable opportunities for personal development. Confidence and self-esteem grow and communication and teamwork strengthen as young people face new experiences and challenges.’ Some of our Key Stage 4 pupils who took part have already made the choice to spend time outside at school by studying Horticulture.
During their time on this working organic farm, our pupils were able to see and participate in real life farming and growing activities. They followed the process of how eggs get to the shop - from egg collection, through sizing of the eggs, discard of any not suitable for boxing, then boxing and transport to the shop.
In addition to egg production, over the four days our pupils toured the farm, met some of the cows and calves, and watched the working horses in the wood. Pupils also had the opportunity to work with the pigs, cleaning them out and feeding them.
At lunchtime pupils split wood, made their own fire (under cover or out in the woods, depending on that day's weather) and cooked their (organic) sausages and eggs - one pupil had about 10 sausages!
All the pupils, who are in Years 7 through to Year 11, thoroughly enjoyed their experience as did our staff. One of our Year 10 pupils made such a positive impression that she has been offered the opportunity to do her Work Experience on the farm in July 2018.
"We had a fabulous day at Abbey Home Farm, such a wonderful opportunity for pupils of all ages. They experienced a wide variety of activities from egg collecting to weighing and sorting them for the shop and lighting a fire and cooking sausages for lunch!" Mrs Burfoot, Year 9 Senior Year Leader
"It was amazing seeing the 60 year old tractor." Arthur (Year 7)
"I enjoyed sorting and packing the eggs and enjoyed seeing the pigs." Alex (Year 9)
"We collected 276 eggs on the farm! My favourite activity was doing the bonfire." Sean (Year 7)
Our thanks to The Farm Project Education Coordinator Maya and her team at the farm for facilitating and providing this great opportunity for our pupils.