School puffs it­self up for new farm barn

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Thom Mor­ris tmor­ris@thek­m­group.co.uk

A BEARDED dragon called Puff, two leopard geckos called Fabs and JJ and a rain­bow boa snake called Rio are among some of the new ad­di­tions to Ash­ford’s North School farm.

The Es­sella Road farm has also wel­comed two ter­rap­ins called Raphael and Leonardo, a corn snake called Mill­wood and a Red Devon calf born on St Ge­orge’s day and called, of course, North Ge­orge.

All the an­i­mals form part of the stu­dents’ diploma classes and an­i­mal care classes where they learn how to care for and look af­ter the crea­tures.

Fundrais­ing is about to be­gin at the school which is set to lose its farm be­cause Kent County Coun­cil plans to build 25 homes on the site.

The school now has to raise cash so it can build a pur­pose­built barn to house its cows, chick­ens, pigs, goats, rab­bits, tur­keys and sheep.

Farm co-or­di­na­tor Karen Lit­tle said: “We’re go­ing to be hold­ing a fashion show on July 9 and all the pro­ceeds will be go­ing to the farm.

“We’re go­ing to be us­ing our own stu­dents as mod­els, and maybe even some of the staff if they’d like to vol­un­teer. For the clothes we’ll be hav­ing Fair Trade, high street fashion and vin­tage brands.”

The school is also plan­ning to put on a mu­sic fes­ti­val as well as hol­i­day clubs for pre-school and pri­mary school pupils over the sum­mer. The club will en­able chil­dren to take part in var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties on the farm.

The North School has re­cently be­gun a re­cruit­ment drive be­cause the size of its sixth form is set to grow fol­low­ing the suc­cess of the school’s first year of pro­vid­ing post-16 ed­u­ca­tion. From this Septem­ber stu­dents are ex­pected to flock to the school to study for their A-lev­els, as well as BTEC diplo­mas in an­i­mal man­age­ment, among other sub­jects.

Tick­ets for the fashion show can be pur­chased from the school and cost £4 for adults and £2 for chil­dren.

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