All students will have lessons on the farm on a half-termly rotation system. In total they will spend 12-14 two hour sessions on the farm each academic year.
The year 7 theme is “Animal Welfare” to ensure that all students receive an induction into working safely and confidently with our animals. We cover the Five Freedoms of the Animal Welfare Act by carrying out practical and theory activities linked to various aspects of animal care. Students will also be trained in health and safety practices and how to handle the different species that we have. The unit also includes work on using our extensive grounds responsibly and how to identify and look after our wildlife, as well as some basic horticulture techniques.
In 2017-18 both year 8 and 9 will follow our “Farm to Fork” programme. This has been written in conjunction with our Food department to support the work carried out in those lessons. Students will learn about the production of various ingredients and useful products from farming, including tasting a number of them! This will be supported by more advanced practical work with both the animals and in horticulture, with students becoming more involved in the management of the farm by developing the skills they learned in year 7.
In 2018-19 the year 9 scheme will be based on ethical and environmental issues associated with food production and land use, as well as students continuing to develop their practical skills. The intention is that each student will have the chance to become involved in an aspect of income generation on the farm, too.
Throughout all topics there is a focus on literacy, numeracy and social/moral and cultural considerations.
The exact pathway each student follows through Rural Science will vary depending on their interests and their literacy and numeracy abilities. We offer qualifications from the City and Guilds suite and these range from individual entry level units through to a full level 2 qualification in Animal Care. At entry and level 1 students are able to choose from a selection of units to build their own personalised qualification. Units can be chosen from poultry, small animal, livestock, equine, horticulture and environmental science on a “mix and match” basis.