Year 6 trip to Saddlescombe Farm
The majestic South Downs provided the backdrop to Year 6's trip this week, more specifically Saddlescombe Farm. This working National Trust property combines livestock rearing, rural conservation and educational visits; a perfect mixture for the children to experience and absorb. Once everyone had been quite literally carted down Devil's Dyke, our hosts Camilla and Roly helped the children appreciate the scale of their family-run farm and explained some of the methods they use to ensure the landscape is conserved for the benefit of hundreds of wild animal and plant species. With the scene set, the children learned about how to connect hurdles to make a pen, and the types of equipment found on the farm that help them care for the animals' health. We were also treated to a demonstration of how Fly - the farm's beautiful sheepdog and star of the show - is used to herd the sheep. Everyone agreed that she is, without doubt, the most obedient - and rapid - dog we had ever seen! After a delicious lamb burger lunch, and a reminder of the importance of knowing the origins of one's food, the children were set a challenge: to herd a small flock of sheep into a pen they had built themselves and then complete a puzzle - all against the clock, and under the watchful eye of Roly (and Fly, in case she was needed!). All the groups completed the task with minimal assistance, and returned to school not only buoyed by a hugely fun day out, but also more aware of how their food is produced and what hard work it is to run a farm!