Creatures great - and in school
Hadlow College

School farms are a great way for children to learn about farming and animal husbandry as well as offering the perfect place to de-stress and unwind outside the classroom. We visit Hadlow College school farm and meet some of their furry and feathered residents

How long has Hadlow had a school farm?

Hadlow began running the Princess Christian Farm site over seven years ago, in partnership with Kent County Council, who own the land.

What animals or crops do you have?

Our farm animals include pigs and piglets, sheep and lambs and calves. There are also over 1,000 hens, whose eggs are collected and graded. There is also a small Animal Management Unit, which has rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, hamsters, rats, snakes and lizards. We also have Rodney the goat and two Shetland ponies, Josie and Daisy. Within the glasshouses and polytunnels, the horticulture department grows plants, herbs and vegetables for sale in the Hadlow Farm Shop, alongside planters and hanging baskets.

What benefit does it bring to the pupils?

The farm comprises 115 acres of pasture and woodland and provides a unique opportunity for individuals with learning difficulties and/or disabilities to develop employability skills within a land-based setting. It aims to assist people in developing social skills, self-esteem, personal responsibility, confidence, independence and the ability to work as a team.

We are able to offer a variety of different learning opportunities which could include working towards gaining nationally recognised qualifications - for example, Land Based NVQs - and supporting students to reach their personal goals and aspirations. Students are proud of working here and really enjoy showing the farm off to visitors - it's a great way for them to engage with the local community.

Which animals do the students like the most?

Lambs are a definite favourite, but it really varies. Some students really enjoy mucking out and looking after the pigs, while others love the chickens and collecting their eggs.

Hadlow College, Hadlow, Tonbridge, Kent TN11 0AL. 01732 850551.