It has been really lovely to welcome two new school partners to the Bath farm this month, Northolt High School and Astley Cooper School. The young people of Northolt High really impressed with their teamwork, kindness and reflection together with their fantastic enthusiasm for Trivial Pursuit! Alongside all of their excellent contributions to our farm activities, one young person displayed his carpentry skills to make a beautiful birdhouse, and another stood out for his impressive athletic ability that he is being supported to pursue back in school.
The young people of Astley Cooper did an amazing job of pushing themselves out of their comfort zone to show all of their potential in such a different environment. We loved seeing their amazing teamwork to successfully complete a tricky sheep move and it was great to see them reflect on the incredible journey they started together while singing and dancing around the bonfire.
During half term, we have been very fortunate to welcome a group of young people from Hillingdon Virtual School who are spending the week embracing farm life, relaxing in the countryside and making new friends. It has been really special to see the young people come together as a group, take on their Wednesday hike with such enthusiasm and make memories to last a lifetime.
We are excitedly planning our first follow-up meetings of this academic year. We love to discover young people’s journeys beyond the farm and appreciate all the work done by schools and partner organisations to maintain momentum when young people return to their setting. Our legacy meetings with visiting staff each week enable us to plan out how best to continue to support young people to continue their progress after their week here, whether this be through adapting support in the classroom, helping look into newfound interests, or simply maintaining the everyday check-ins and positivity. It is always with great excitement that we return to see young people in their school setting to understand how their journey has progressed.
On the farm, there’s lots of work to be done, much of which creates fantastic opportunities for our young people to get involved. We have welcomed a few more cows and calves and work is afoot to prepare for April lambing with the teasers going in next week. Bail grazing will be starting within the next month and we will be finding out next week how many new calves we can look forward to welcoming in March. There is ongoing work being done to explore the quality of our soil as the focus remains to encourage biodiversity and regeneration so that our soil can be the best it can possibly be.
We would also like to thank our long-term partner BANES and their team, who chose to spend their Team Day on Jamie’s Farm. They worked really hard whether farming, baking, woodchopping for our biomass boiler or making banners to support our amazing runners at the Bath Half Marathon. While this provides a valuable opportunity for them to come together as a team, it also enables us to share knowledge and understand the experience of those frontline services who work tirelessly to secure the best outcomes for the young people in their care.