Why did the chicken go to school?

| 26th January 2015
The Holmewood School Thank youEducation is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”*

*John Dewey

We had a lovely surprise in the post last week; this thank you card from the staff and students of The Holmewood School. It’s been a privilege to build a relationship with this school, that has a vision to be a centre of excellence for Special Educational Needs, since one of their teachers joined us for Urban Hens – Keeping Chickens in London. Last Tuesday I took Madge and Bunty, two of our gentlest hens, to the school with me and we had a great time over 4 sessions across different age groups. ‘This is the best day ever!’ said one of the Key Stage 2 pupils as Madge started walking around the classroom. After an introduction to Hen Corner, we looked at the responsibilities of caring for chickens, their life cycle and then started to explore where our food comes from and some of the issues around its production. We are now hoping to arrange a student visit to Hen Corner for a Bee Keeping session where the children can watch the bees safely, whilst they are behind glass in our Observation Hive, then dress up in bee suits to come a bit closer to the open hive.  ‘Great to have you in school Sara! The kids loved your workshops (as did the staff!)’ Naj DSilva, The Holmewood School.

Our support to local schools can complement their curriculum in so many ways be it life cycles and habitats in Key Stage 1 or reproduction of insects and birds in Key Stage 2 alongside a broader understanding of where our food comes from and how we can produce some ourselves. Key Stage 3 students benefit from exploring ecosystems, insect pollination and animal welfare through to sustainability and the impact of changes in both the environment and climate on our food production.

To find out more about some of these opportunities for your local school, teachers can book in to an INSET training session that we are delivering with Heathland Learning Trust on Thursday 5th February. We have been supporting Heathland School since June ’11 and are delighted to see how they’ve integrated their chickens into daily school life and look forward to seeing many more children engage with both nature and where their food comes from as they begin their bee keeping journey after installing their own apiary within the school grounds.

For more information on how we can help local schools, please see here.

FFF Skylar

Coming up at the Corner

We have courses running right throughout the year with two places left for Toast and Marmalade this Wednesday 28th January then Saturday 28th February welcomes all ages for chicken keeping with Families, Feathers and Fun.

All our confirmed courses are open for bookings, and there are many more to come, so whether you want to try something new or treat someone to a wonderful gift, have a look and book in early!

Other News:

  • Many new seasonal courses are being planned; Afternoon Tea, Easter Special, Perfect Pasta, Breads – Sweet & Savory, etc.
  • It’s great to see London Bee Keeper Steve Benbow in the new, in store, Clarks Shoes posters
  • We’ve been trying some recipes from River Cottage’s new book Light & Easy

Jobs for next week:

  • Final preparation for our INSET session with Heathland Learning Trust
  • Put together the new courses that we’ve been dreaming about
  • Grab a day in the garden, getting ready for spring…

Have a good week yourself…Hen logo good

Join us on the Journey!

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Emma Sarah Tennant 27th January 2015 at 7:59 am

I think it’s a fantastic idea to get more practical homesteading skills onto the school curricula as it really complements natural history, science, economics etc and gives kids great skills.

Also, children have such a natural curiosity about wildlife and insects when they are very young that it’s wonderful to nurture this.

hencorner 27th January 2015 at 10:06 am

Thanks Emma,
I was just checking up on the teaching plans for the National Curriculum yesterday and, as you say, all of these studies and skills complement so many different subjects.
It’s great fun too!

Becky Brown 28th January 2015 at 7:51 am

I think going into schools is such a great idea the kids must get so much out of it. It’s so important that kids know where their food comes from and there’s nothing like a chicken running around to get them thinking! My husband used to have chickens and ducks in the school he used to work in and everyone had the opportunity to take eggs home with them.

hencorner 28th January 2015 at 8:35 am

Thanks Becky, it is so important for children to know where their food comes from. Particularly in urban areas where everything is available, plastic wrapped, in the supermarket all year round…

beekeeping business model 31st January 2015 at 5:46 pm

Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after looking at a few of the articles I
realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m certainly pleased I came across it and I’ll be
book-marking it and checking back regularly!

hencorner 31st January 2015 at 6:57 pm

Thanks 🙂


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