Bebington High Sports College students take a hands on approach to learning with its very own school farm. The farm project aims to educate students with food knowledge and encourage future careers in this field.
So what goes on during a typical day at the farm? We asked student farmers Hollie Pleavin, Sasha Warburton, Holly Adams, Jess Fleet and Ethan Kinney to tell us all about it.
We are a group of students that study at Bebington High Sports College, Wirral and we would like to tell you what it is like to work at our school farm.
On our farm we have: 3 adult Pygmy Goats called Phoebe, Cleo and Dixie and 4 kids – these were born just before Christmas and two of them will be going to Grove Street Primary School in New Ferry. We also keep Zwartble sheep, we have 3 prize-winning ewes named Zoe, Zara and Zelda, 3 ewe lambs; Bonnie, Bluebell and Blossom, 3 Kune Kune pigs; Duncan, Mabel and Ethel and 2 large black pigs, Chickens, Quails, Ducks and 2 Guernsey goats called Pippa and Bronwyn.
On the farm we all have daily responsibilities, for those studying Animal Care, we need to complete this for our course but some people volunteer because they love it.
We feed all the animals twice a day; inspect them to make sure they are ok and have a little chat about our day. People come down to the farm in the mornings before lessons start and then again after school, even though we could all go home, we don’t, we would rather go down to the farm. Some people think it’s a waste of time and ask why we bother going. What these people don’t understand is that the farm is a place where you can go and have fun with your friends; learn a great amount of information about the animals and also get to experience working with them.
The farm becomes a place where you can feel safe and be the real you because the farm is like a family and you make new friendships especially with our teachers, Mr Fearon and Mrs Arrowsmith. We have to work hard to keep the farm running smoothly but it’s definitely worth it because it gives us an insight to farm life and our careers. We get to learn how to trim hooves, halter an animal and how to castrate the male animals.
The main job people dislike is cleaning up but by doing the job, it prevents the animals from getting any infection and keeps them happy and safe – it is worth it as you would have to do that if you were working as a farmer. We make sure our animals are all in the best health that they can be, meaning that we treat them with the correct medication and check on them regularly.
By going down the farm you get to meet new friends. These friendships will be the people who you can start to trust. Then it becomes like one big family, where we will stay by one another’s side through thick and thin. Also, you create a relationship with the teachers so you can joke around with them and feel like you can trust them. You get more respect from the teachers because they become mentors to us.
Recently, we have had four new arrivals on the farm. We have had two girl pygmy kids (goats) and we had two boy pygmy kids. When they were born we had to move them into the shed near the entrance of the farm so that they could stay warm and bond with their mothers. We were all amazed that the Pygmy goats gave birth without any problems and on their own. This was an experience that doesn’t happen that often. This possibly brought us closer together as a farm.
It is mind blowing how far the farm has come and we are still running it; it is an experience of a lifetime especially with new arrivals and learning new techniques.
It’s not all that easy because on our school holidays, the animals don’t feed themselves so we meet up and go to the farm for a couple of hours to feed them and see if their health is ok and check if any cleaning needs to be done.
We hope you have enjoyed reading about our farm, you can read more at @BebHighFarm or join us on one of our primary school visit days.