Spring lambs 'bring learning to life' for school pupils
- Credit: Brittany Woodman
Sheep and lambs have been delivered to schools across East Anglia - giving excited pupils a hands-on experience to learn about farm animals.
The Learn About Livestock project gave 14 schools across Norfolk and Suffolk the chance to look after ewes and their lambs for a week.
They were given everything they need to feed and care for the animals, briefed on safe husbandry practises, and given ideas on how to incorporate the experience into the curriculum.
The project is run by the Food and Farming Discovery Trust in partnership with the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST), Chapelfield Veterinary Partnership, the Clan Trust and Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association (RNAA).
The sheep were loaned to schools by members of the RBST's East Anglia Support Group, strengthening links between farms and schools.
One recipient was the Clare School on South Park Avenue in Norwich - a specialist school for pupils with complex physical and sensory needs.
Class teacher Julie Hatfield actually helped sheep owner Gail Sprake deliver the twin lambs when they were born at Meens Farm near Halesworth.
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She said the animals' arrival with their mother at the school gave the children access to a valuable sensory experience, particularly as many use wheelchairs which could otherwise prevent them getting close to farm animals.
"It is bringing learning to life for the children," she said. "For example, we do mark-making in the mornings and instead of colouring sheep we went out into the pens and they were drawing the sheep while talking to them. It was just a fabulous moment.
"We are talking about the sheep and increasing the children's vocabulary and language, so to be able to do all that through an actual real-life learning experience is amazing."
Shannon Woodhouse, manager of the Food and Farming Discovery Trust, said: "We believe this exciting opportunity will offer pupils the chance to witness farming first hand, and provide them with a rewarding learning experience, while offering teachers a unique way to deliver parts of the curriculum."
Steffan Griffiths, headmaster of Norwich School and a trustee of the RNAA, added: "After everything that young people have put up with in recent times, there is a need for simple joy and fun in schools, so we are thrilled to provide this priceless chance to connect children with the natural world around them."