Taking reception class children to a day at the races might seem an unlikely highlight of a school outing, but that was one of the main talking points after pupils from Lightwater Village School paid a trip to Bocketts Farm in Leatherhead recently.
The race, between some of the farm’s resident pigs – with Will I Ham emerging as the winner – was just one of the talking points from a memorable day out, as part of the children’s summer term learning topics, transport and changes.
“Fortunately the weather was lovely, which made the day all the more enjoyable, and they had a wonderful trip,” said Holly class teacher Melissa Lawrence. “The children got to ride around the farm on a tractor, which taught them about how transport and machines are used on the farm, whilst also giving them an opportunity to look around and see some the animals who live there.”
After observing from a distance, it was then time to get up close and personal, stroking some on the farm’s bigger animals like Shetland ponies, before a petting session with the likes of chicks and rabbits in the specialist animal handling areas.
In addition to the livestock, the children also learnt about farming, and how plants are grown. “The time in Mr McGregor's Garden was fascinating as they got to look at some of the herbs and vegetables being grown, and to find out about how they change over time, and what they need to grow,” explained Sycamore Class Teacher Emmeline Faulkner.
“Talking of how things grow and change, one of the most memorable moments was when the children got to see a lamb which had only been born the previous day – they absolutely loved that, as you’d expect.”
Lightwater, together with local partner school Hammond, has been a member of the GLF Schools multi-academy trust since last November, working in collaboration with other schools in the group to share teaching ideas and management techniques.
“It was a wonderful trip because there was so much to learn in so many different ways,” said Ms Faulkner, “and rounding it off with the pig racing was a brilliant way for it to end. I know the children all went home thoroughly entertained, and with plenty to tell their parents, and as a teacher, you can’t really ask for more than that from a day out.”
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