Our School Farm
Set within 70 acres of our site, stands Abbotsholme's very own working farm. The farm has very much been at the heart of the school since the school was founded in 1889. All pupils up to Year 9 play an active role in rural life at the School. In Year 10 and above pupils can choose to study Agriculture and Estate Management or Equestrian as part of a tailored programme.
Today, our farm caters for: cows/sheep/pigs/goats/turkey’s (after September)/hens/goats and other small animals such as rabbits. Our home reared meat is used within the school environment, enforcing the “farm to fork” principle. Our kitchens provide healthy meals from produce directly from our own farm.
The farm provides quality hands-on experience for pupils from our Nursery to Year 13, in animal handling, husbandry and importance of animal welfare. All pupils have regular visits to the farm. From Year 3 to Year 9, pupils access our weekly “Carousel”. The Carousel provides half a day per week, on a half termly basis split between the following areas: Farm & Equestrian/Performing Arts/Outdoor Education.
Our lambing season is a magical time on the farm and one that is open to most pupils in the school, who are able to join the “lambing rota”. Whether studying agriculture as a subject, or just enjoying one of the many experiences on offer at Abbotsholme – memories that will never be forgotten, will be made.
The curriculum provides invaluable opportunities for the teaching of environmental sustainability for all pupils through outdoor education, working with animals, clay pigeon shooting, bee keeping or gardening within the walled garden. These hands-on opportunities provide pupils opportunities to foster their understanding of the natural world and the environment.
At GCSE level – pupils are able to study: General agriculture/soil/principles of plant growth/crop production/livestock anatomy and physiology/livestock production and health/pasture management/farm structures and tools. Time is split equally between the classroom and practical projects on the farm and estate.
At BTEC level 3 National Extended Certificate in Agriculture. Again time is split between the classroom and farm. Pupils work with the school’s breeding sheep flock and pedigree British White cattle herd, taking a full part in all the activities required as part of the year round farming calendar. This involves lambing, preparing livestock for market, ensuring that housing and welfare management is maintained at a high level.