The development of a full ‘College Farm’ in 2012 is a natural extension of our business and enterprise specialism and supports our aim to connect learning with life outside the classroom. The farm began as a food growing enterprise in the development of market gardens with Chickens in 2006, and has expanded to include a variety of life stock, which provide a source of interest and conversation as well as superb learning resource. The College Farm is one aspect of All Hallows that has led to its development as an outstanding learning community, which motivates and engage all of its students so they can be and achieve their best.
The Benefits of a having a School Farm
In line with our mission statement All Hallows seeks to provide an education for the whole child, in the principle of ‘Aspire not to have more but to be more’ and through the practice of the Christian values of Honourable Purpose, Respect, Co-operation, Compassion and Stewardship. The farm enables hands-on learning about the importance of:
- Stewardship of the environment; learning to care about the natural word, belonging to the wider community, developing a deeper understanding of the sources of food, ethical issues, and sustainability.
- Learning vocational and enterprise skills; exploring the business and employment opportunities from horticulture and animal care.
- Considering outdoor working as a lifestyle choice; showing how outdoor activity contributes to physical fitness, good mental health and emotional well being.
- Subject knowledge; making links between subjects and the world outside the classroom: for example in the practical use of mathematical and scientific learning in stock- taking, sales, or animal husbandry.
- Reflecting on safety; practicing risk management skills in a controlled supervised environment.
National support for school farms
All Hallows belongs to the School Farms Network. The following is an extract from a publication ‘School Farms: a vital resource’.
“Heightened awareness of the importance of educating people about food and healthier lifestyles has led to school farms – along with allotments, city farms and community gardens – being identified as valuable tools in addressing such issues. In 2000 the Department for Education and Skills, an active supporter of school farms, launched the Growing Schools Programme in partnership with FCFCG, Learning through Landscapes and the Council for Environmental Education. Growing Schools aims to encourage, support and inspire all schools (nursery, primary, secondary and special) to use the outdoor classroom, both with and beyond the school grounds, as a context for learning across the curriculum. It focuses in particular on food, farming and the countryside, on ensuring pupils are given first hand experience of the natural world around them and that outdoor learning activities are integrated into every day teaching practices. In 2004 the Department for Education and Skills and FCFCG formed the School Farms Network to support and assist school farms, co-ordinate meetings and facilitate networking. The Federation’s Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales, is a keen supporter of both programmes.“