Tuesday – baking, birding, nursing and herding

The sun has gone down on Tuesday and every day is different on the farm. Today we went birding – with big binoculars and high expectations. We observed from the hide, peering through cameras and saw lots of different birds – more exciting than some of the magpies and feral pigeons we get in central London. We felt inspired to try and encourage a wider range of birds into our school garden.

Later came a visit from the vet – that was interesting! The children’s questions were thoughtful and demonstrated strong levels of analysis and curiosity – some powerful lessons in managing the health and numbers in a herd!

We like to think we might be a bit more self sufficient than we when we left London last Friday. Behold our own pizzas, bread and crumble!

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Sunday Funday – holding ducklings, herding sheep, apple pressing and an awful lot of mud

Today began after our daily chores around the farm with a long muddy walk. We climbed over stiles, rolled down hills and some of us got stuck in the mud and our wellies had to be rescued by Mr Eggleton.

Later we did our best to herd some sheep – not sure it was up to the standards of one man and his dog. We looked after some ducklings ( well we cuddled some ducklings), fed the cows and there were apples – it is that time of year!

Everyone is having a great time – Zac loves the ducklings but Joel is rather underwhelmed by the size of the turkeys – we are all learning a lot about where our food comes from!

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Meeting the Duke of Kent – School Food Matters!

This week we set up a stall in Southwark cathedral to introduce the Duke of Kent to the wonderful food growing that goes on in our school. He was very impressed to learn all the products we brought were grown in our school garden. He especially liked the pumpkin that had been planted from seed in Mr Paul’s class and then looked after by our gardeners in the year one raised bed. He also bought some eggs from Dickens’ chickens.

Although the children were noticeably nervous they all spoke wonderfully about our garden and the different fruits and vegetables that we have grown. After the excitement of meeting the Duke we were all treated to tea, cake and cucumber sandwiches of course.

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Gardening Club – first session of the ‘growing’ season

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Gardening club had a really lovely first session after school this week.

After a tour of the garden we prepared our potatoes for planting. This is called chitting. Before going into the soil each seed potato needs to grow short, tough sprouts. In two weeks we will plant them into some soil.

Gardening club is led by Mrs Jamois.

Eco Schools – Still flying the green flag!

A huge thank you to all the children involved in meeting our green flag assessor this morning.
She was very impressed by the eco-code song that was sung in assembly today and enjoyed touring the school to admire our: recycling efforts, musical instruments made from recycled materials and displays about keeping healthy. Isabella explained why we chose to get a worm bin, “so we can turn our compost into soil more quickly”. Jake and Sabrin spoke about ecological travel and how they have been encouraging people to walk to school. Tahir spoke about the planting he did in gardening club last year, while Elisha spoke about composting and the class rabbit. Joseph talked about our science walks. Elisha added that in her class children use scrap paper to make things with or draw on.

Thanks to everybody’s hard work in showing care and concern for the environment we have been awarded our green flag again!

A special well done to Mrs Jamois who leads our eco team, manages our garden including gardening club and also the junior travel ambassadors – her passion for the environment and living in harmony with nature is inspiring us all!

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Meeting the chickens and the quails

The school has looked after Chickens and quails for a number of years. Our chicken welfare officer, Hayley, is always on the look out for children who are kind and enjoy spending times with the birds to help collect the eggs and hold our chickens and quails. It looks like Hayley has found some helpers already!

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Big Schools’ Birdwatch!

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On Tuesday, Year Six were fortunate enough to be visited by Don Fuller, the South East Region officer from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. He helped us to take part in this years’ Big Schools’ Birdwatch, which helps the RSPB to track the number of different bird species found across Britain. Don introduced the Year Six children to some of the birds that they might be likely to see in the local area. He then took us on a walk through the eco-garden and to Mint Street. Although we didn’t spot an enormous amount of birds, we were able to record plenty of Feral and Wood pigeons; some long tailed tits; blackbirds; great tits; blue tits; magpies and a crow. The data will be inputted into the national survey log and we’re looking forward to seeing how our efforts compare with those of other birdwatchers across the country!

A Gardening Masterclass from Blue Peter Gardener, Chris Collins

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Two representatives from gardening club recently joined Chris Collins, the blue peter gardener for a masterclass on growing fruit and vegetables. The workshop took place at Borough Market as part of a training day for gardening club on both gardening from seed ( much cheaper than buying in young plants) and on the skills of market trading.

As you can probably see, the garden is blossoming under the gardening club led by Mrs Jamois and fruit is slowly appearing. We are looking forward to welcoming Chris back the Charles Dickens Primary School on 11th June to benefit from his advice on our garden!

Our Chicks have Hatched!

Today in Little Dorrit, lots of our baby quails finally emerged from their eggs. It has been a long wait for the children but worth it to see these little creatures break out of their shells. Pupils are completing ‘quail’ diaries to chart the birds’ growth and as you can imagine, everyone is very excited!

Take a look at the video below!