The lovely Year 2 children from Dean Close Preparatory School braved the rain to look at the topic of habitats. After the health and safety talk the children visited the calf pen to look at the ‘habitat’ we provide for our young stock. I explained all the things farmers think about when making sure the ‘habitat’ is correct for the animals; food, water, shelter, space to move and friends. Throughout the day the children asked some fantastic questions.
During the farm walk we thought about both the farm animals and the wild animals which live on the farm. The children learnt that farmers work hard to provide habitats for lots of wild animals. We walked along the beetle bank, past the wild bird seeds and then saw a badger hole.
The children loved exploring which creatures live in a freshwater habitat. Whilst we pond dipped we found an adult sized smooth newt which was really exciting. The children found lots of clear jelly with eggs in which are pond snail eggs.
The children loved the play wood.
All of Year 2 from St Andrews CE School came out to the farm this week. Our topic was fur, feathers and fins with Autumn and habitats mixed in. After the health and safety talk, the children told me about their topic and were very animated when they told me about salmon. I became even more animated, as I have been fortunate enough to see salmon and bears in Alaska which I told the children about.
I showed the children a selection of feathers I have found on the farm and later on the farm walk the children collected their own feathers. I also showed the children a stuffed buzzard which most (!) of the children were fascinated by.
After snack the children went on a nature collection walk and at the end of the walk the children used their nature items to make habitats for some rubber ducks. The diversity of leaves, feathers, seeds and flowers was amazing. Autumn is a great time for a farm trip. As the weather was so good, one group even managed to do some pond dipping.
Later on in the play wood, a couple of children carried on with the topic, picking up feathers and birds feet (!) left from the buzzards kill.
The weather was perfect today for dragon fly spotting. The very lovely Class 1 children from St James school in Chipping Campden were a very enthusiastic group, which made my job all the more fun. After the health and safety talk we decided to do a short walk to the pond, where the children found some great pond creatures. Our aim was to find the dragon fly nymphs lurking in the water, of which there were many. One girl found a really big newt and a boy found the first water scorpion of the pond dipping year. It was all very exciting and clear to me that the children were used to handling minibeasts as they asked to hold them.
At the point of the weather being too hot, we went into the shade of the wood and saw the habitats of the farm chickens and pigs. The children had lots of great pig questions. After lunch we went back into the shade of the trees. Some of the children picked up cones and stuck feathers into them. A simple but very effective idea.
Another hot day on the farm saw the first class from St Andrews school come and experience Sandfield Farm. The children had the topic of habitats and how animals evolve. We started the morning walking through the wheat field which is showing the first signs of the seed head (wheat ear). Walking along the track, the children were asked to spot signs of badgers. We found three inactive badger holes and tracks running through the hedge. Later we saw the badger latrine and seeds in the badger poo!