The Farm has 3 members of teaching staff and 2 technicians. At the weekends and during the holidays student volunteers support technician staff in maintaining animal welfare. Students gain the opportunity to engage with their learning in a much more practical learning style. Onsite we have rare breed pigs, sheep, chickens, ducks, turkeys and ferrets. Students learn how to care for these animals and carry out all aspects of agricultural work from learning how to tend to crops to driving and maintaining the school’s tractor.
Students undertake either; an Environmental and Land Based Science (ELBS) GCSE or a BTEC in Agriculture. The ELBs course maintains the rigour of traditional academic studies but adds a practical element especially valued by employers in the field of veterinary science and indeed agriculture. The BTEC provides a much more vocational approach teaching key skills that will be essential for a career in the agriculture industry. Sixth form students who wish to follow this vocational course are also enrolled onto the BTEC programme of study.
In Year 9 students have the opportunity to assist on the farm at lunch times. Staff will supervise activities relating to animal husbandry, care and well being as well as learning about how these animals are used to produce goods and services vital to the agriculture industry.
We run a number of field trips to enhance the significant learning opportunities we already provide. These include: Balyham rare breeds farm, where students can learn about the importance for modern agriculture in maintaining a biodiversity as well as understanding the importance of some traditional farming methods. We also carry out crop walks and visits to large scale producers to view modern agriculture on a large scale. All told the courses aim to provide as much practical input as possible to allow theory and key skills to be taught side by side giving students a much better perspective of where a career in animal / plant science and agriculture could take them.