Our School Farm
We began our school farm project during the first lockdown by developing a spacious vegetable patch which gave us a very bountiful harvest in the first summer. This then grew to include a large chicken run which our year 6 children helped to construct. Our first 8 chickens arrived in the September 2020 rescued from a free range farm looking rather sorry for themselves. After lots of love and care they grew to their full strength and are now living a happy life. Our farm has now expanded to home 14 hens and 10 Khaki Campbell ducks and 3 rabbits. We have also extended our growing zone to provide raised beds EYFS to year 3, and have allocated sections of a local allotment for years 4-6 to enable every class to grow their own flowers, fruits and vegetables.
We believe that our children should have access to an engaging and embedded outdoor curriculum as a part of their Ludgvan School experience. The implementation of this is three fold: a well-stocked garden and nature area; an on-site Forest School and our own ‘mini-farm’. Each area provides opportunities for a different set of skills that are vital to our children’s education and preparation for later life:
Ludgvan Farm – learning animal care skills which can be applied at home with pets, on local farms or in potential future careers. Children gain financial acumen through growing and collecting produce and then using or selling it and calculating the profit/loss and costs involved. Empathy is one of our core values and the animals are a real-life demonstration about how caring for others can make a difference.
Ludgvan Garden – learning how to farm and live sustainably is hugely important in the current climate and a knowledge base that will stand all children in good stead in their later life. An understanding of why looking after our environment is important and we must learn to live alongside nature within our community.
Ludgvan Forest School – The ability to light fires, tie knots and build shelters and valuable life skills that prepare children for a variety of situations they may experience throughout their lives. Team building is a valuable benefit to working together in an outdoor environment and benefits children in all aspects of their education and wider endeavours.
Life On The Farm
The farm is overseen by Mr Richards, however, the day to day running is currently done by our year children. Our Junior Farm Managers are Darwin and Poppy and our Deputy Managers are Sofia and Emily and they are supported by their team of year 5/6 chicken and duck farmers, as well as rabbit carers from years 2-4. The children take responsibility in ensuring the highest quality of care is provided to our animals by making sure they have food and water at all times, cleaning out the pens, regularly completing health checks and providing stimulation. They also collect the eggs daily and sell on our community produce stall as a mini enterprise. They take charge of the finances with our animals, recording the income of the eggs and expenses for supplies and calculating profits.
It is important to us that every child has the opportunity to care for, spend time with and learn from our animals. In addition to regular farm school sessions, every class has a timetabled slots across their week on rotation where they get to help in the care of the animals with daily visits to feed them, collect eggs and provide them company.
Sustainability is at the heart of our school farm. We view this as something that should be thought of as a way of life, enabling children to become responsible global citizens. The purpose of our school farm is to teach our children the importance of a sustainable planet. This involves how to care for animals, both domestic and local wildlife. It also involves the understanding of plants, growing fruit and vegetables from seed, building valuable life skills which help to reduce reliance on industrial farming operations which have a high ecological footprint. Our children will have the knowledge to create a greener world.