Primary school in Wembley sets up Elsley Farm complete with sheep, chickens and guinea pigs
PUBLISHED: 14:17 13 May 2019
Lambs, chicken and guinea pigs have moved into a primary school in Wembley to be part of the pupils' learning experience.
Elsley Primary School, in Tokyngton Avenue, has set up Elsley Farm, planting trees and growing vegetables in the midst of its busy urban surroundings.
The school is currently doubling in size from two to four-form entry but has used "all available space" around the ground's border to build paddocks and shelters.
Alice Codner, the school's outdoor learning leader, said: "We've three lambs and had a shelter for them and have fertilised five different breeds of chicken eggs that will all be different when they hatch in two weeks."
The idea was the brainchild of headmaster Raphael Moss.
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Staff put up fences, got risk assessments sorted, and started "making connections" with a special school in Wandsworth who donated the animals.
They planted seven trees and 200 hedge saplings and have plans to set up a Forest School, teaching children how to build and light a bonfire and how to be safe and responsible around fire.
The school currently has 620 children, with a capacity for 900, with four-form entries up to Year 3
Ms Codner said: "It's brilliant and has huge benefits for the children who are becoming really compentent outside and it's also good for their wellbeing.
"It's nearly a mile walk to another green space and a bus ride to Welsh Harp open space so we're trying to make the most of space that we've got and make use of every corner. They are learning to be gentle, calm and quiet in front of the animals and it betters their life experience, as it opens their life to all kinds of possibilities."
She added: "The children are also learning where their food comes from, understanding what a lamb is and where eggs come from, not just Asda."
Raphael Moss, headteacher added: "We are aware that our children are growing up in a heavily built-up area. Being in Wembley has huge benefits but we also want to make sure that our children don't miss out on experiences which children who grow up in the countryside benefit from." He thanked Tesco's Bags for Life for the grant to set up.