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School visit

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default School visit

Post by Chilli-head on 2nd October 2015, 10:53 am

Now C-H Jnr is a teenager, it is approaching time for a new school (we have a 3 tier system here); last night was the open evening at the local upper school.

We are lucky that within a very short walk we have an "outstanding" state school. The academic records are great in the subjects that really matter, and there seems to be a great wealth of alternative stuff for the students to take part in either as GCSE's or extra curricular.

But what has this to do with meat, I hear you thinking. Well, the school has a farm too. And we are not talking the sort of thing my school had back when, a sort of glorified petting farm for the younger kids. Oh no. They have pigs, a flock of sheep, a hundred or so turkeys, geese, chickens, quail, and probably more I've forgotten. And the students (if they chose to) do everything, and I mean everything, including slaughtering the meat birds, and dealing with aspects of sheep healthcare that would certainly make your average city type go "euwww !"

I was well impressed to see the range of things offered for those who don't fit the pure academic route through life.

They also have a farm shop, with their own eggs, pork (including sausages, wurst, etc), and other produce as available. I feel a bit guilty for not supporting them more - the shop is open Saturday mornings, I should at least go to them for my eggs !
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Post by Dandelion on 2nd October 2015, 7:34 pm

That sounds completely brilliant CH. The schools in our (small rural) town were sadly reorganised when Comprehensives came into being. This meant that a Grammar school, a secondary modern, and a small school specialising in Rural Science were all merged in one large soulless building. No-one was happy, and the area lost a great asset. The Rural Science school was housed in an ex-stately home in the middle of nowhere, and sounds like the school you went to see, CH.
The school I work at is in the city, but we have many students who travel in from the country, particularly from farms, and there is no provision at KS3 or 4 for any who want to farm when they leave school.

The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by Ploshkin on 3rd October 2015, 2:58 pm

That is fantastic CH. How refreshing to hear that they do the whole 'gate to plate' experience. Too many things are sanitised these days (or as Mr P would say 'Disneyfied'). We are heading for a serious shortage of young farmers in the UK so anything like this is bound to help. Does CH jnr have any interest in that direction?

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Post by Chilli-head on 6th October 2015, 12:40 pm

Ploshkin wrote:We are heading for a serious shortage of young farmers in the UK so anything like this is bound to help.  Does CH jnr have any interest in that direction?

Not terribly likely, I'm afraid.  He is more interested in tecnological stuff, like many young people.

The difficulty of attracting young people into agriculture / farming seems to be a worldwide one. Years ago I did a couple of stints as a visiting worker at a Japanese agricultural research institute. In Japan the average age of farmers is 65.9, according to The Japan Times.  As a result they had funding for a range of automation projects that were a two pronged attack on the problem - the obvious reason being to provide a means of coping with less manual labour input, but with the hidden agenda of "tech-ing up" the image of farming to encorage the young to become involved.

My day job relates to high-tech agricultural machinery, and we see this effect in a range of countries. We probably rather benefit from this crisis, but it is depressing that it is part, IMHO, of a much bigger problem that people who work with their hands, and perceived non-academic subjects are not given much respect.  Which is why I say kudos to this school for being inclusive, and catering for those who are interested in that sort of direction.
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