We are extremely proud of our school farm!
We opened The Abbey Court Rural Activities Centre in 2020. This long awaited project came about from a desire to enrich our curriculum and offer pupils a learning environment that would engage, motivate and prepare them for the future. Animals and the outside environment are strong motivators for many of our pupils. They provide a rich and broad range of learning opportunities, including developing life skills, the chance to work with others, to be a part of a community, to develop new and existing skills in different contexts and to nurture hobbies and interests they can take into adulthood.
With a bespoke classroom, dedicated farm staff and a fully accessible farm, we have developed a curriculum to enable pupils to:
• Learn how to care for animals, plants and wildlife
• Learn important life skills
• Have real work experience opportunities
• Develop their communication skills
• Be a part of whole school projects
• Enrich and embed their classroom learning
• Use and apply skills from subject such as Mathematics, Geography, Science and PSHE in a real life setting
Our farm is constantly growing and developing. We currently have a number of different animals living on the farm, including, Donkeys, Shetland Ponies, Goats, Rabbits and Chickens. The pupils are also helping us to develop the polytunnel, where we have already successfully grown a range of fruit and vegetables, which many of the pupils have enjoyed tasting!
The curriculum for our Rural Activities Centre is made up of two elements:
The Curriculum Overview: Outlines core areas of learning and experience that will be available for all pupils to access when they visit the farm. Progression has been mapped to outline how different age groups will be provided with progressive and age appropriate learning opportunities, whilst retaining opportunities to re-visit key elements as they progress through the school. The overview aims to give focus to key ideas within farming whilst allowing pupils to access these ideas at an ability level appropriate to them.
Whole school termly projects are a rolling programme of topics, accessed by the whole school. These give the opportunity to promote team work, inclusion and offer the opportunity for pupils of different age groups to work together. Each topic offers the opportunity to develop a range of skills as well as linking to the National Curriculum and enriching pupils’ existing class based learning.