On Sunday 20 January 2019, a small group of pupils from Chesterton Primary School appeared on the BBC’s popular show ‘Countryfile’ in a special feature about Lakeside Care Farm. In the closing article the pupils were seen herding pigs with one of the show’s presenters, Matt Baker, and, after having done so, they were learning new mathematical skills by taking measurements.
Headteacher, Karen Venner, was also seen briefly on the show as one of the pigs made a dash in the opposite direction. Still laughing from the experience, Karen, recalls the joy in seeing pupils, often ill at ease in the classroom, benefitting from being on the farm:
‘The time the children spend at the farm is helping them to develop their resilience skills through trying new activities whilst learning to step outside of their comfort zone. The children return with a fresh air rosy glow showing they have thoroughly enjoyed learning outside the classroom’
To aid their learning and personal development, pupils from the school’s Communication and Interaction Unit, and other pupils from the school, regularly visit the farm and, as a result of being in the fresh air, they learn to work together as a team. Kathryn Robinson, Teaching Assistant, was interviewed by Matt Baker and she reflected on the positive impact the opportunity to learn in this environment was having on the pupils she works closely with; in particular, reductions in anxiety and improvements in behaviour.
"Since my child has started attending the farm his confidence has grown and he looks forwards to Thursdays with a smile on his face." Parent
"Since attending the farm my child has become a lot more talkative and is coming out of his shell. He now share his experiences and knowledge with us." Parent
Along similar lines, in the Autumn 2018, Abbey Home Farm, also welcomed groups of pupils from Cirencester Deer Park School who, as a result of the farm’s offer, gained a deeper understanding of where food comes and through structured hands-on experiences developed a range of skills including manual dexterity and team work. Read more...
'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.’ The Farm Project
It is through effective partnership activities like these that the Corinium Education Trust supports pupils’ development and enriches their learning. As an outward facing organisation, we are keen to engage in real life projects that stretch and challenge all of our learners.