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Farm planned for Churnet View Middle School in Leek

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: July 19, 2014

By Belinda Hargreaves

  • Max Bennett, aged nine.

  • Megan Barlow, aged ten.

  • Isabelle Barlow, Megan Barlow, and Hannah Waterhouse.

  • Hannah Waterhouse, Isabelle Barlow and Megan Barlow with some of the animals.

  • Two of the Churnet View chickens.

  • The plans for a farm at Churnet View Middle School.

  • The plans for a farm at Churnet View Middle School.

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Pupils could soon be rearing animals and taking them to agricultural shows under plans to create a working farm at their school.

Churnet View Middle School, Leek, is aiming to set up the mini-business venture in its grounds to give young people a more practical approach to the curriculum.

The plans include putting up a barn on a corner of the playing field to act as a shelter, a store for hay, straw and animal feed and a base for the farm office.

Young people are hoping to look after a variety of farm animals including pigs, cows, goats and poultry. It will build on Churnet View's existing brood of chickens.

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Headteacher Julia Turner said: "We are aiming to create a working farm so that pupils can learn and experience for themselves how to care for the environment and the food we eat.

"Learning about our environment and the community we live in provides excellent life skills for our pupils as well as supporting their learning in numeracy, literacy, science, technology, art and many other subjects. This is an important step forward in the history of Churnet View Middle School."

A special launch event surrounding the Churnet View farm proposals included pupils' gardens and window boxes; art and sculpture projects inspired by the farm; farm ideas by the new intake pupils who will be joining Churnet View in September; the school's chickens and new arrivals; a display of farm animals by the NFU and Thomas Alleyne's High School; farm machinery and tractors on display by the NFU; Staffordshire Police's Rural Crime Prevention Unit display; a bee keeping display; a presentation on the proposed farm;and a cake sale for The Douglas Macmillan Hospice

Max Bennett, aged nine from Leek, is set to start Churnet View Middle School in September. He said: "I would be willing to help out in looking after the animals."

Eight-year-old Hannah Waterhouse added: "I think it's an epic idea. I haven't been so close to farm animals before – only a little lamb. It will be interesting to see the animals grow."

With around half of the students at Churnet View Middle School living in rural communities, it is expected that the students will be teaching the staff more about farming. Mrs Turner added: "We are hoping that the children who live in rural areas will bring in their experience of farming and assist in looking after the animals."

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