Kew Little Pigs
In March this year, St Augustine’s Priory become home to a chattering of chicks when they were hatched in our very own Science Department. When they were mature enough they were moved outdoors to the Priory Farm, and less than a year later have been joined by four micro pigs and four Soay cross sheep. Mr Kane, Head of Science, and Mr Raffray, Premises Officer, underwent extensive training before the animals were introduced into their new home, and passed on their knowledge to our ‘Priory Farm Managers’. These girls have shown such dedication and enthusiasm that Mr Kane arranged some formal training to take place.
Today, Kew Little Pigs, the company from which our four pigs came, visited the school to check how they were settling in and to give our Priory Farm Managers an intensive course on looking after our animals. Kew Little Pigs is a female-run business in Amersham, and is the only micro pig breeders in the UK that focuses on educating people on their pigs’ intelligence, and in understanding both the pigs’ needs and the owners’ responsibilities.
In our experience, having a farm has a real effect on the atmosphere of a school, as well as being an excellent outdoor classroom. Our goal is lifelong success, and by giving the girls experience and opportunities in as many different fields is vital in uncovering where their passions lie. Working outdoors with the seasons and finding tangible evidence of your hard work can only have a positive effect on mental health – Olivia, our trainer today, is passionate about raising awareness of farming as a career and all the benefits it brings with it, including the proven benefits of spending time outdoors has on mental health.
“We are giving girls unique experiences to strengthen veterinary applications.”, Mrs Raffray, Headteacher.
The learning outcomes from working on the farm not only include the strengthening of leadership skills, but also knowledge of husbandry and housekeeping of animals. The focus today was on how to care for pigs and their health, on animal enrichment, and learning the science behind things like broad spectrum disinfectant and the spreading of bacteria.
“This is a brilliant idea”, one parent said, “broadening skills and helping them to be more effective ‘young women’, well done”. We are proud to be able to offer this opportunity for hands-on learning, and believe that the sense of achievement our Farm Managers get from their work will create confidence that will be reflected in their other interests.
Categories: Senior Whole School