Housing trust boss to crash hen party
Published by Alison Donovan for The Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust in Housing and also in Care and Support, Communities, Education, Environment
Pebble Brook farm Aylesbury ducks
A SPECIAL SCHOOL in Aylesbury will be welcoming hens, ducks and other feathered friends to the official opening of its urban farm. The 'hen party', organised by Vale of Aylesbury Housing (the Trust), will be held at Pebble Brook School on Wednesday 23 April.
The opening will take place just days after work began on transforming unused land into a new curriculum subject - with donated materials and labour worth over £15,000.
Pebble Brook, a community special school covering the Vale and beyond, won the Mix 96 'Community Challenge' in 2013. The school, who provide specialist support for 11 to 19 year olds with communication and interaction needs, wanted to build an urban farm for teaching pupils how to nurture and study small animals - their plan being to integrate urban farming as a subject into the curriculum giving pulpils the possibility of gaining a qualification in the subject.
They originally asked for a 'large shed' but the Trust was so impressed with the role the school played in the community that it called in help from its building partners, Travis Perkins and Amey. The pair provided materials and labour as part of community support commitment included in their contracts.
In just 10 days, the Trust, with more than a little help from Travis Perkins and Amey, developed an unused area at the back of the school into a functioning small animal farm. The whole development was streamed live by web-cam so that pupils could track the Trust's progress over the Easter holidays. You can watch the live stream at www.vaht.co.uk/live.
The Trusts Chief Executive, Matthew Applegate, will officially open the farm with Head Teacher David Miller. Speaking of the scheme, Applegate said:
"Pebble Brook School's idea opens the door to a whole new way of learning and one which we are delighted to have been involved in from start to finish. The fact that it will be integrated into the pupil's curriculum - and thereby creating the prospect of them gaining a qualification, is a fantastic long-term result."
David Miller, Head Teacher at the school said:
"We can't thank the Trust enough for putting the hard work and effort that they have done into this project. Back in September 2013, all of this was just an idea. Now the farm can be used as a resource to teach our pupils how to nurture and study small animals.
"We are looking into the prospect of other local schools visiting as the farm creates a completely different way of learning."
You can also track the progress of the project by searching for #PBfarm on Twitter.