Last week Our Services to Education Manager; Steph Moore was invited by Chris Holl, Assistant Head Teacher and Susie Kendall from Mount Tamar School, to spend some time on their working farm.
Steph jumped at the chance to see the amazing work they do and has given an insight into her visit:
At Granary Farm the students can study BTEC Animal care qualifications, entry level qualifications as well as developing their functional skills. The work is carried out in Groups of up to 6 or 7 and there is a strong emphasis on the older students providing support for the younger ones so that they can benefit from what they have experienced so far. It is lovely to see how much pride the students feel in coming to the farm and taking part in all of the work and activities.
The most noticeable thing for me at the farm is that the rules and boundaries are very different from the school. There are strict rules to be followed; definitely more work and these are set out in a specific order. The duties are based around feeding the animals, tidying up, checking the tools and watering the plants and vegetables and this strict routine works.
I realised while I was on the farm, that if you take away the boundaries of 4 walls in a classroom, you suddenly see the student in a different light and the student sees themselves in a different way too.
Susie will find a way to connect to the individual and make the learning more personalised. This will often centre on the young person’s interests and strengths around the farm. Susie will find a way of bringing their Maths and English studies into the everyday running of the farm.
To be able to spend time with Susie Kendall and Chris Holl was a fantastic experience; the amazing energy you get from spending time at this farm is brilliant. There is just such a great vibe and this is reflected by how much the students thrive being there.
This is a truly holistic environment in which the students can develop their skills, interests and most importantly they learn about themselves.
Spending time with Susie and Chris was inspirational and I don’t say that lightly. The passion that goes into running the farm is fantastic and the dedication they show towards the students is brilliant.
Susie won’t thank me for mentioning this but after spending a morning with her then I think it should be shouted from the rooftops; she has been short listed for an award through TES for The Best New Teacher Award and I think this is thoroughly deserved.
I had a great time on the farm and will definitely be back very soon.
Quote from Chris Holl;
“Our Granary Farm School has been such a great success- it has far exceeded every expectation. Our students find that the environment at the farm is sensory, tranquil, innovative and provides a platform for our young people to engage in a fantastic working environment.”