We are very passionate about our farm at Reddish Vale High School. Research suggests that School Farms and outdoor activities can have a beneficial impact on the physiological health of pupils. The physical tasks of food growing and animal care contribute to a broader understanding of the range of ways of staying active. Pupils enjoy having access to fresh air and outdoor spaces, and evidence shows that they take greater responsibility for their own health.
Approximately 116 schools have farms in the UK and they provide an outdoor classroom experience and for use as a resource to encourage social, personal and therapeutic development through children learning how to look after the farm animals and undertake farm duties, whilst also enriching and enhancing learning and attainment across the curriculum.
Young people need to be fully aware of the world around them and have the understanding of the ‘field to fork’ process with food. Farms develop links to lots of different subjects and can greatly enhance learning.
Pupils have the opportunity to study a BTEC in Animal Care and also develop entrepreneurial skills such as planting fruit, vegetables and flowers.
We also run a Farm Club and the timetable for this will be available soon. Activities undertaken at farm club include; cleaning out the animals, feeding and watering, grooming, behaviour training, exercising, performing health checks and gardening activities. There are many benefits of Farm Club that our pupils receive, such as making new friends, engaging in physical activity, empathy, attention to detail, care skills, independence and responsibility. Working and being around animals has also been scientifically proven to reduce stress, which can be a benefit in a sometimes stressful modem school society.
There is also a referrals process in place in which selected students access the farm for interventions on a one-to-one basis or in small groups. This enables them to benefit from a more relaxed non-classroom environment and develop more empathetic ‘soft-skills’.
We love our farm and our animals and we would like extend the pleasure it gives to our school and to our community. We welcome visits from the community, and schools and would be very happy to explore bespoke packages that ensures full enrichment to all who visit us.