The barnyard is a resource which is used with boys throughout the Key stages and is run by science and Kristy Jackson who is a learning mentor in school. Kristy spends 2 hours of the day in the barnyard with students and the rest of the time she is timetabled supporting SEN students in science.
The animals in the barnyard include chickens, rabbits, aviary birds and chipmunks etc. but this can change as often animals are donated to us throughout the year or sometimes we breed animals and sell them to generate funds for the barnyard. (This also teaches the students enterprising skills) The barnyard is self-sufficient in that funds to run it are raised by the students via supermarket bag packs or selling homemade food in school or by donations from the local community. The boys help to feed and care for the animals keeping them in clean hygienic conditions which involves, cleaning out their living accommodation and repairing hutches etc.
The boys are timetabled in the barnyard at Key stage 3 on a voluntary basis and on a rotation. Boys are not allowed to miss core subjects and must have permission from HOD of the subject they are missing. In year 7 the barnyard is a useful resource to help our more vulnerable students integrate in to the school. It’s also useful to motivate students who are disaffected; to encourage good behaviour and to work as part of a team and to allow them to take some responsibility for their own learning. At Key stage4 the boys are only allowed in the barnyard before or after school so that they do not fall behind in their examination subjects, unless they are following the btec in animal care/horticulture where some of their lessons will be in the barnyard.