The Farm at FBA
The Farm is a much loved part of life at Frances Bardsley Academy. Since establishing the school farm in 2013 it has grown in size and adopted more and more animals. We currently have ducks, chickens, quail, rabbits, guinea pigs, goats and miniature Shetland ponies.
The FBA Farm was created to provide pupils with an outdoor space to enjoy learning about animals and the environment and sustainability. It began with two little rabbits called Cookie and Oreo, who were joined not long after by a group of little chickens and a very busy beehive. As the farm family developed, two new brothers arrived, Billy and Barry the goats, followed by three ducklings Huey, Dewy and Louie. As time went on the farm grew and extended into a larger space by the carpark. New small furry animals arrived and soon we had lots of rabbits and guinea pigs to add to the joy of the farm. More recently Rocky and Rosie the miniature ponies also joined the farm family. Many students visit each day and the farm has become a place of wellbeing, creativity and belonging.
Students from FBA enjoy being able to visit during their morning break and lunch break, and after school. On a visit they can enjoy petting and holding the animals, or even taking the ponies or goats for a walk. Students help look after the farm generally as well as checking the animals are cleaned out and have enough food and water.
We run a programme of activities during form time which are fun, aimed at engaging students with the animals, while also teaching students about animal care and animal welfare. Sessions are tailored to the year group.
We have seen the Farm make a real difference in the lives of students. Students physical and mental well-being has improved, as well as them building life skills including confidence, communication, and the ability to work with and alongside others. Whilst encouraging a better and healthier lifestyle it also helps our young people engage with their surroundings better and develop a sense of responsibility.
Some comments from students:
“The farm is a very nice and relaxing environment to be in.” -Karima, Y8
“It is good and doesn’t feel like school” -Izzy, Y8
“It was really fun visiting the farm and learning new things.” -Halima, Y7
“I think the interaction between the students and animals is very strong. When I go to the farm I can just forget about all my troubles from school for a while and have a great time.” -Stella, Y7
“I personally think it is a very unique thing to have in a school. It calms you down, helps you to clear away them worries and relax. It is a lovely place to be.” -Umamah, Y7
“It is relaxing and fun to be with the animals.” -Farah, Y9
“I really like the farm, since there are a large variety of animals. They’re also harmless too so anyone can touch them and pick them up depending on their size.” -Hana, Y8
“Amazingly well treated animals and knowledgeable teacher who cares about the animals and their welfare very much. All people are very nice and I think very highly of everyone there! :)” -Winnie, Y10
The FBA Farm is a member of RHS Gardens and Grow London and support sustainability and conservation on the farm site.
FBA Farm has a long term development plan as we look to continue to develop and best utilise the space we have for the benefit of the animals and our students. From time to time our students enjoy running fundraisers to help support the development of the farm. Please do contact the school if you want to support the continued development of the FBA Farm in any way.