We are so fortunate that we have wonderful huge grounds, and we are keen to continue developing the learning areas outside. Working alongside our Forest School experiences, our children wanted more! Therefore, as our children have a huge voice in what happens in our school, the children wanted to introduce animals, so we now have two pygmy goats (Scratch and Murphy) and five chickens. In the coming months we will be expanding our chicken flock to twenty-four, Indian runner ducks, two sheep and we will be introducing a beehive, so the children can learn about bee keeping.
Learning about the environment and encouraging the children to take more responsivity in the world around them has made the teachers review and develop the curriculum we offer our children. The children will learn about:
- different biodiversity the school grounds offers;
- an understanding of what bees need and which plants are bee friendly. Therefore, the children have decided to have three areas in the school where we do not mow the grass and we encourage wildflowers;
- planting and growing vegetables;
- experimenting with our polytunnel;
- developing our two mini orchards;
- learning about composting;
- giving real life concrete examples of practical application of maths and English across the school
Our Year Four class have built an enlarged compost area and our year three class are incubating Indian runner duck eggs as part of their project ‘From Egg to Duck’. They will also be building their new home in the coming weeks.
Our Five children are embarking on two new initiatives, which sees them engage in Film, Farm, Fork where the children will be split into three groups and every three weeks will improve their cooking skills, look after the crops and animals and develop their film making by creating films about what they have learnt in class e.g. All about Peru.
Our year five children have embarked on an enterprise project ‘Project Chicken’ where they are rehoming twenty chickens, which means our flock will be twenty-five. We have extended our chicken run and Mr Durrant has built a larger chicken coop, so the chickens have a huge area to roam. To give the children real life learning experiences, the children have been challenged to make the project financially self-sufficient and to use the proceeds from selling the eggs to pay for all of the bits and pieces the chickens will need. The children have to create a survey, publicise their enterprise, engage customers, organise collection of the eggs and create a rota to ensure the chickens are looked after when the school is closed. Miss Penniecotte-Henrie and Mrs Dallyn are overseeing this project and I think they are having too much fun with the egg puns. If you want to purchase any eggs, please contact the school office at email@example.com.
All of this has learning at the heart of all activities and we have four key objectives:
- Engaging with the outdoors and respecting the world around us;
- Providing pastoral and social emotional support through well-structured lessons;
- Further enriching our curriculum e.g. enterprise projects (Chicken Project);
- Giving the children real life experiences.
Our next steps:
- Introduce another animal possibly two sheep;
- Build more permeant fencing around the animals pens;
- Introduce beekeeping;
- Roll out our Film, Farm, Fork to another year group.