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Piglet Playtime

Courses for Schools and Special Groups

Brambles “Living with Farm Animals” workshops are activities which gradually develop the student’s knowledge about animals, their needs and dependencies, and encourages an awareness of our responsibilities towards living creatures. Spending quality time with animals has a natural therapeutic effect on anyone who comes in contact with them.  Students tend to be more receptive to new information when given in a different way and environment.

School and special group visits to Brambles are fully guided and facilitated by our enthusiastic farm and animal experts.  Learning is intermingled with games, stories and simple crafts to facilitate learning, whilst out of the classroom environment. We provide teacher/ group leader introductory and take-away packs, to get the most out of each visit, prompt memories and to support classroom discussions.

The subject matter of the activities naturally support Countryside, Environment and Farming topics within the National Curriculum Key Stages. We welcome the opportunity to tailor each session’s activities to focus on specific current school subjects.

We are currently establishing how our skills training will be structured for our own OCN courses during the 2010-2011 educational year.

“I think the big “plus” with Brambles is the provision for allowing the pupils to actually see close-up and even touch the animals! Also, your expert knowledge and enthusiasm was a real boon! I liked the “presents” that we took home, too!”

Gary – Visiting teacher, Year 5 children

SUPPORT NEEDS

Our Activity leaders are enhanced DBS checked.

Groups and schools will need to provide the appropriate number of adults to supervise individual people and look after their personal needs.

LIVING WITH FARM ANIMALS

Activity workshops on a working smallholding for schools and group learning.

There are three hands-on activity workshops, which teach students about animal health and welfare. By getting close to our friendly animals, students will build relationships with them, and learn how to care for them.

  • Workshop 1 (2 – 2.5 hours)
  • Workshop 2 (2.5 – 3 hours)
  • Session 3 (2.5 – 3 hours)

Introduction to Animal Welfare

Five Freedoms

We set the scene by talking through important animal rights: “freedom from hunger and thirst; discomfort; pain, injury and disease; fear and distress and freedom to express normal behaviour”.  (All other activities relate back to the five freedoms.)

Daily routines

The students help with the morning or afternoon feeding and watering session, by gradually working round the different needs of pigs, goats and poultry. We talk about what food we are giving and why.

Our responsibilities

We explain how animals relate to us and are non judgmental. The students learn why and how to treat animals with respect, and relate this to how we should behave in the same way with people.

4 Senses

By getting close to and holding piglets, kid goats, and chickens, students understand the differences in look, feel, smell and sound between the various animals and between different breeds of goat and chicken.

(We don’t do the fifth sense “taste” – our pigs don’t like being bitten! None of our animals are sold to be eaten).

Cuddles & grooming

Of course this is the best bit, stroking and cuddling, rabbits, chicks, and other fluffy creatures.

Know your animals

Different breeds and variations

Students get close to individual animals and talk about their breed standards and what makes them special and different from each other.

Animal anatomy

We show how animals have different feet and legs, teeth, eyes, mouths, horns and coats, and explain how their features help them survive.

Food types

Even farm creatures have various foods to keep them healthy, happy, energetic and safe.  We discuss food types and uses throughout the seasons for each breed of animal on the farm.

Housing, bedding and habitats

Pigs, goats and poultry all have their own needs.  We show how they live in their individual environments, and how we need to look after them to keep the animals protected, comfortable and happy.

Our responsibility to animals

Referring to the subjects of the day, and the five freedoms, we revisit how animals depend on  us, and why we must show caring and respect for all creatures – even if it does mean having to go outside on a cold wet day to feed them!

Animal health & growth

Animal health, prevention and treatment of illness

A more sophisticated agenda, looking closely at different animals and evaluating how fit and well they are.  Discussions about how we treat animals to keep them as healthy as possible, and what we do if we find them to be poorly.

Babies & breeding

From eggs, through incubation (even looking at chicks inside their eggs), to care during hatching and early days of life. We cover similar subjects with our pigs and goats, and look at different characteristics (such as colour and size) that are bred through from parents to offspring.

Growth and seasonal changes

Further discussions showing how our animals go through their “teenage” months/years and transition into adulthood, and how they change look and behaviour through the seasons.

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