Charles Darwin, Dinosaurs and the arrival of a small furry adventurer are just a few of the topics the children have been learning about this week.
Year 1 & 2 looked at the idea that chickens are closely related to Tyrannosaurus Rex and that dinosaurs could have evolved into birds. It was amazing how many similar characteristics chickens and the T-Rex share, especially their scaly legs and the way they run. A T-Rex even stopped by on the farm in the morning and gave Mr Kiddle are scare!
Year 6 have started to look at the work of Charles Darwin and his theories of evolution and natural selection by solving a series of problems relating to his findings on the Galapagos islands and how the islands tortoises and finches adapted to the different island environments.
Have ago at the game below which teaches you about Natural Selection and see if you can survive a million years!
Year 5 have started a Farmers Market project with the theme of seasonal food. Over the next term they will be looking at the importance of eating seasonal produce, the effect of food miles and cooking and tasting a variety of food. They will also be planting, growing and cooking their own seasonal produce in the farm allotment.
And finally this week Years 3 & 4 have become film producers and have starting writing a storyboard for the farm very own furry adventurer, Guinea Pig Jones in his adventure the “Temple of the golden carrot”. They have started with episode 1 in which they had to come up with how Guinea Pig Jones learns about the golden carrot and sets off to find it.
There have been some very strange goings on over Sandon Farm this week. It started when our CCTV cameras captured an egg-shaped UFO hovering over the school before landing (so it is believed) on the farm. After some investigative work by Years 2 and 3, we discovered that Space chickens have landed on the farm and disguised themselves as the other chickens. The children managed to identify which chickens they believed to be the alien visitors by following a guide sent to them by MI5 that described how to spot one. Space chickens are believed to have red eyes, walk backwards, make a strange clucking noise, lay green eggs and can disappear on the spot. What is not known is what the Space chickens want and if are friendly or not.
On the early hours of Friday morning the schools CCTV captured another spaceship crash landing on the farm. When interviewed by the local press, Farmer Kiddle arrived on the farm in the morning to open up there was no sign of the spaceship or of any damage to the farm itself, he said ‘I wouldn’t have known about the crash if Mr Wilson had not spotted it when he was looking through the CCTV footage. It’s like it never happened’. He continued ‘There have been lots of strange things happening in the sky lately, what with the egg-shaped UFO’s last week and now this. Me and the children already believe space chickens have taken over some of the farm but this must be something else, it’s like the whole thing has been covered up, possibly by MI5, army and the government.’
One the Easter holidays are over we will be really concentrating on filling our school allotment with as much fresh produce as possible, with the children involved in every step of the way, from sowing seeds to creating meals with the resulting crops.
We have already planted our potatoes, garlic, broad beans and onions and have carrots, peppers and lettuce in the greenhouses.
This year we are going to try to have the most successful growing season we have ever had so if anyone is willing to donate anything, such as seeds, equipment, veg plugs etc. then we would be extremely grateful, just drop Farmer Kiddle an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch.
We have been incubating 6 pekin frizzle bantams eggs over the last 20 days and had a lovely surprise this morning when we discovered 4 had hatched over night with the other 2 slowly making their way out of the shell. The are all going to stay in the brooder until tomorrow when they will have dried out, fluffed up and be ready for an explore in their little heated creche. They will stay under a heat lamp for around 6 weeks until they get their full feathers.
After all the trouble on the farm with the kidnapping of Flap Jack it was nice to have a uneventful half term for all the animals to settle down and relax. That was until Monday morning when Farmer Kiddle was looking at the CCTV cameras and noticed something very strange happening in the middle of the night...
The pigs have created a rocket pack and have been using it to fly around the school. Farmer Kiddle went over to the pig pen to see if he could find the rocket packs and he discovered a hidden workshop, buried underneath their pig sty that was full of tools, equipment, 3 rocket packs, blueprints on how to make them and a shopping list of things they need to buy.
Farmer Kiddle confiscated the rocket packs and blueprints and, with the help of Year 1, managed to find all the items on the pigs shopping list before they could build more.
On Sunday evening Mr Kiddle locked up the chickens as normal and, to his surprise, discovered that one of the chickens, known as 'Flap Jack', was missing. By Monday evening Flap Jack was still nowhere to be found. Sick with worry, Mr Kiddle contacted the Sandon Farm Police who came to the farm to investigate. The Police discovered an area by the pig pen that looked like there had been a struggle between a chicken and an unknown suspect and asked Year 1 and 2 to help conduct an investigation.
After looking at the evidence around the farm, the children believe a cunning, sneaky fox has kidnapped Flap Jack. The children's suspicions where confirmed when a ransom letter from the fox was handed into the Sandon Farm Police that demanded a bag of KFC to be left behind the greenhouse's on Saturday night or Flap Jack would never to be seen again.
Now the children have to decide if they are going to meet the fox's demands or find some way of tricking the fox and to ensure Flap Jack is returned to the farm safely.
Did you know that a million pumpkins are brought in the united kingdom each year for carving into scary Halloween faces? Did you also know that a massive 95% of these pumpkins are destined for land fill in which they will be left to rot away, whilst only 5% are made into soup or pumpkin pies?
At Sandon we took part in our second annual “Pumpkins for pigs” in which we ask children to bring in their pumpkins to give to our pigs and chickens on the farm so they can enjoy a special Halloween themed treat.
This year was better than ever with nearly twice the amount of pumpkins brought in for the farm.
Look at the pictures below of our Sandon Farmers feeding some of the pumpkins to the pigs.
This weeks blog has been written by Alfie and Lisepa.
Our trip at Ford hall farm was amazing! We met a lot of animals such as rare pigs called Gloucester old spots, sheep , cows and cute piglets and lots more. Our tour guide was a kind woman called Helen she loved the wildlife as well. We learnt that the farm was organic which meant there was no pesticides or chemicals used on the farm that would damage the bees and other animals that live on the farm. We also learnt about seasonal food which means food is only available at certain times of the year, not all time like in supermarkets.
We went a walk along the fields and I fell over and nearly landed in a giant cow pat. We played in the woods which was full of art and there a bird hide which you can sit in to watch the birds in the woods.
We had lunch in the lovely garden in a giant pig ark.
We had a lovely day and learn t all about the seasonal food and wonderful wildlife.
The summer holidays are perfect time to make improvements to the farm, and to catch up on any repair work that may need doing and this summer was no different. We had several projects in mind for over the 6 weeks which all involved taking what we already have in place and making them bigger and better.
One of the first things was to make a new enclosure for our chinchilla, Meg, which we built at the back of the food shed. She now has a huge, multi-story walk in enclosure in which the children can go inside to play with her, something her old cage couldn’t allow and will be greatly beneficial to Megs wellbeing in the long run as well as adding an exciting new part of the farm.
Sticking with improved enclosures, we have created a new ‘Rabbit town’ area at the back of the rabbit enclosure. This area allows the rabbits a safe, enriched outdoor play area that will allow them to have much more exercise and do the things rabbits like to naturally do. The area also allows the children to sit amongst the rabbits as they play, with hiding places for the rabbits to take time out if they need to.
The rabbits that will be living in Rabbit Town are four Netherland Dwarf Rabbits that arrived on the farm this weekend. Netherland’s are a rare breed of rabbit that are much smaller and calmer than the normal pet rabbit. They do need special care, especially in grooming and diet. You can see photos of the rabbits below.
In the Farm Garden, we have built to huge new vegetable beds, one shallow and one deep, so we can grow even more produce and different varieties of vegetable this school year. We are getting better and better each growing season so we are very excited for the new one.
After moving around 10 tonnes of wood chip into the pig enclosure in preparation for the new piglets, they arrived 2 weeks ago, giving them time to settle in to their new home before the new term. This term we have three saddle-back piglets that are around 10 weeks old now. They are friendly and love to have their bellies rubbed.
They will be with us until around February before moving on to have piglets of their own.
The final change on the farm is the sensory garden which was completed on the last week of term with the wet, warm summer really allowing the new plants to bed in and they are looking absolutely fantastic, by Spring next year the garden will be fully established and we will be able to see, smell and touch all the wonderful plants.