The background to our School Farm
Edwalton Primary School is the only school in England with a working farm and a 3 acre wood attached to the school grounds. The farm began in 1972/3 by Mr Wright with a collection of small rabbits and hens. The school acquired an adjacent 12 acre field and put two ponies out to graze. The enterprise soon grew when Jacob sheep, Alpine goats and various waifs and strays were added by the new head, Steve Ball in 1974. Brian Owens, the current head, soon became part of the Edwalton culture. He felt a key part of his role was to build upon the visionary work of Alf Wright and Steve Ball.
A key part of the strategy was to widen the ownership of the farm and animals and to involve more staff, children, parents and governors. The rotas and organisation of the club has become the responsibility of a teaching assistant. The next step was to make stronger links with local conservation groups like Nottingham Wildlife Trust and National Bodies such as Growing Schools and the Federation of Farms and Gardens.
The animal club was formed and every Monday from 3.30pm to 4.30pm sees up to 40 children and 10 adults getting involved in the activites. The goats, sheep, Kune-kune pigs, hens, rabbits are all watered, fed and cleaned out by everyone for the week ahead. This continues through the holidays and Christmas day. Animal welfare is overseen by the goodwill of a mum who works at a local vet and who gives us advice and administers medication if needed.
At different times of the year children engage in horticultural activities such as planting spring and summer bulbs, clearing weeds, decorating tubs and tending garden plots.
The school also acts as a trustee for the wood in partnership with Rushcliffe Borough Council and Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. Recent projects have included fence painting, ground clearing, the constructions of outdoor classrooms from tree felling, bird box housing as well as a host of other environmental work linked to the curriculum through trails, orienteering studies etc. This work is supported by a loyal group of governors and parents. The most recent project is the construction of a new pond dipping platform. The reserve is a completely safe, enclosed environmental wildlife area. It is a sanctuary for wildlife and the Head!
When? Monday, 3:30-4:14pm.
Where? in Beech Classroom.
Make sure you have a change of clothes, gloves and wellington boots!
Trish is the leader of animal club- we take the register first and then we are put into groups to work on the farm.
'Get Your Hands Dirty' Resource Pack
Click on the logo on the left for a guide to growing plants and keeping animals in schools