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Gallery: New animals cause a stir in Romford school farm

PUBLISHED: 10:00 29 March 2015

Frances Bardsley Academy School, in Romford, has a farm where the students get stuck in and it is used as an alternative form of learning.
Katie Pidgeon, age13 Katie Willetts, age13 and Amelia, age12 with Baby Lionhead rabbits.

Frances Bardsley Academy School, in Romford, has a farm where the students get stuck in and it is used as an alternative form of learning. Katie Pidgeon, age13 Katie Willetts, age13 and Amelia, age12 with Baby Lionhead rabbits.

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A school has welcomed some newborn rabbits and ducklings on to its farm just in time for Easter.

The students at Frances Bardsley Academy in Upper Brentwood Road, Romford, have spent the past 18 months tending to their own farm, which boasts a selection of animals including ducks, chickens and goats.

“It’s an area where students can come to tackle new challenges,” explained Rachel Grimwood, the projects co-ordinator who helps run the small-holding.

“It’s an inclusive space that helps them raise self esteem and gives them a sense of belonging.”

The girls get stuck in with all parts of running the farm by feeding the animals, cleaning them out and growing vegetables during their break and lunch times.

Many come every day, turning the farm into a busy haven away from the classroom.

“It’s nice having this here,” said 13-year-old Charlotte Hartley with a chicken tucked under her arm.

“I come every day and it is one big friendly family.

“My mum says if you grow up looking after animals then you learn to care for other living beings, and this farm helps us build strong relationships.”

The smallholding funds itself by selling produce, such as eggs, to staff and pupils.

It has also managed to sell the baby bunnies, who will be going to new homes in the next few weeks.

“This is a really big support system,” said Miss Grimwood.

“We can find things out about the girls which we may not notice otherwise, such as if they are struggling in a lesson or if there is a problem at home.”

While the Recorder was visiting the farm also welcomed some baby ducklings which hatched that day – met with incredible excitement from the young farmers.


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