Although we’re just a stone’s throw from the bustling high street of Portishead, we’re also lucky enough to have the rolling hills of the countryside on our doorstep – and what better way to experience them than by going to Farm School!
Thanks to our new minibus, we took a group of 14 children to Sperrings Farm in Clapton-in-Gordano, where we were welcomed by three tiny Shetland ponies ready to have their coats brushed. Some of the children remembered what they’d been told on previous visits – don’t stand behind the horses, use quiet voices, and be gentle – and were able to help those new to Farm School to brush the ponies’ coats and tails.
After learning all about saddles – and discovering new words like “stirrups”, “reins” and “girdle” – the children were all given the chance to sit on the horse themselves. It was wonderful to see even those children who are a little less confident than others putting on their hard hats and taking to the saddle.
After petting the sheep (and wondering where the unicorns’ stable is!) the children decided to put on their own show-jumping competition, pretending to gallop and clambering over and under the jumps in the arena. Then we unloaded the picnic hamper and blankets and had lunch together, before heading back to nursery so the children could share their experiences with their friends.
Next week, we’ll be meeting the cows and learning about tractors, as well as eating al-fresco in the meadow again.
Farm School is just one of our regular opportunities to extend the children’s learning outside the nursery environment. It takes place every week for Rising Threes and Pre-school children, giving them the chance to learn about nature, farming and animals, and provides new bonding experiences between friends.