Donna Ashlee, assistant principal, explained: “We are very fortunate to have a working school farm and we need to make full use of this across the whole school curriculum; this coupled with being passionate about teaching our students about where food comes from has resulted in the creation of a course for our year 7 and 8 students. The Great Outdoors (GO) course is based on the school farm around the farming calendar and where food comes from.”

Robyn Fuller, rural studies teacher took the course to the examination board panel where they were impressed by the links to the Ofsted manifesto on outdoor learning which discusses the need to inspire students through outdoor learning opportunities. Mrs Fuller explains: “Over the past couple of years GO has been developed to enable students to achieve a level 1 certificate, the range of topics include Reaping the Harvest, Burger Making – with our own mince from our school farm cattle, omelette making – with eggs from our chickens and making enrichment devices for our small animals.” GO is different to other subjects as it is centred around practical work and focuses upon students becoming team workers, independent enquirers and team workers.

Donna Ashlee continued: “We were delighted that Ros McCarthy, deputy lieutenant of Kent, Mrs Smallwood, High Sheriff of Kent and the Mayors of Hythe and Folkestone joined us to launch the new qualification and present the first certificates on Open Farm Sunday. We are really proud of our first students achieving this qualification.”

Brockhill opened the school farm to the public in the afternoon for Open Farm Sunday, 250 visitors enjoyed watching sheep shearing demonstrations followed by a teddy bears’ picnic in the walled garden.

Pictured:VIPs and first students with their GO certificates>/i>