Down on school farm to as­sess the nat­u­ral cur­ricu­lum

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - FRONT PAGE - by Nick Cullen

AS PUPILS at the North School pre­pare the an­i­mals on the school’s farm for the County Show in July, their head teacher has ex­pressed her op­ti­mism over the farm’s fu­ture. In Oc­to­ber, the Ken­tish Ex­press re­vealed that Kent County Coun­cil and pre­vi­ous head Si­mon Mur­phy had agreed to sell the 70-year-old farm for hous­ing. The news pro­voked out­rage among many in the town and be­yond, and in De­cem­ber, we pre­sented KCC with a pe­ti­tion signed by 2,000 peo­ple, de­mand­ing that the farm be saved. Two weeks ago, the man who may de­cide the farms’s fate, KCC cabi­net mem­ber for ed­u­ca­tion John Sim­monds, toured the school along­side Fred Wood-Brig­nall, the out­go­ing KCC chair­man, and viewed the farm. Head teacher Les­ley El­lis said: “They were very im­pressed by what they saw. I’m op­ti­mistic. Cllr Sim­monds is now or­gan­is­ing an­other meet­ing, and I hope a de­ci­sion comes out of it.” KCC spokesman Ian Tucker said: “Dis­cus­sions are con­tin­u­ing be­tween the school, KCC and Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil to work out the best way for­ward to en­sure the school can de­velop its vo­ca­tional pro­gramme, which in­cludes a farm­ing pro­vi­sion.”

Pic­ture Gary Browne pd1208769

Bethany Daniel, Laura Wescott, Sha­nen West and Peter West, with some of the school rabbits

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