Our Farm by Thalia and Moses Penrice Academy’s very own Outdoor Learning Environment! On the 1st of March 2019, Penrice Academy’s official opening of the Outdoor Learning Environment took place. It was a superb event situated down on the Farm. The Mayor of St. Austell and the MP Steve Double cut the ribbon to officially launch the Farm. Although the weather was not the kindest to us we had an amazing turnout with around 50 people coming out to celebrate the event. A few days later the farm is in full swing and we spoke to some of the students down there. Conner, a student who regularly comes down to help with the animals said: ‘I come down in lessons, break and lunch time to care for the animals. We help out with all the jobs such as mucking out, feeding and grooming.’ Josh said: ‘I think the farm is really beneficial for students. You can now take and animal care course or just go down and say your worries to the animals.’ Although the farm has only been open for a couple of days it has been a project a year in the making! Mr Cardigan, an Assistant Principal of the school, stated ‘The idea of the farm mostly came from me, however there have been numerous staff that had helped in the process. I thought of doing a farm because I had seen how the school dogs had affected the children and their learning and intend to do the same with farm animals. We can also offer a farm course so that children can help with animals if they aspire to be a vet etc. The farm is funded by fundraising and a small allowance, however it will cost around £3000 a year.’ The Animals in the Farm include: Goats, Sheep, Guinea Pigs, Hamsters, Rabbits, Ducks, Chickens and bearded Dragons. Alex, another student at the school, stated ‘My favourite animal is definitely the sheep, the names of the sheep are Lupin and Fern they are a very rare breed called North Ronaldsay, we got them all the way from Scotland and hope to show them in some county shows later in the year.’ Mr Matthews, an animal care teacher at the school said ‘The benefits of the farm are mostly about the mental health side of things. Cuddling and talking to the animals is very therapeutic and can help children with learning and understanding. Another huge benefit is definitely the B Tech Course on Animal Care so that children can already be familiar with animals before they go to college and do a course on veterinary or whatever they would like to do.’ Read more about the Outdoor Learning Environment here.