Students from Brockhill Park Performing Arts College attended a gala dinner at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester as part of the School Farm Network Education Alliance. The Alliance brought together teachers from school farms all over the country and industry in the land based sectors and explored the ‘land of opportunity’. Adam Henson, of BBC Countryfile fame presented the awards ceremony.

Brockhill has one of the largest school farms in the South East and was delighted to be recognised as winner of the ‘Best Use of School Farm in the Curriculum’ category. Assistant principal, Donna Ashlee explained: “We were thrilled to win this award as our school farm is central to our whole school ethos – it isn’t just an add on but integral to our school. OFTSED recognised this in our last inspection by observing that ‘pupils transfer admirably their respect for animals learned on the farm, into respect for adults and their peers.”

Brockhill believes that it is the only school in the country to have devised their own land based qualification, every year 7 and 8 student at Brockhill has one lesson of the ‘Great Outdoors’ every week where they learn about where food comes from, animal welfare and sustainability.

As Brockhill won their category they went through to the overall final for Best School Farm of 2017. Donna said: “We could not believe it when Adam Henson read out our name. This is a real accolade and is lovely to be nationally recognised for the work that we do at Brockhill.”

“This is just the start of an even more exciting time for Brockhill who will be teaming up with The Country Trust to work with inner city primary schools, our school farm is a special place and we feel privileged to have and so we should share it with others. This project will enable to create a long standing link with inner city children allowing them access to our farm, for visits and continuing contact via Skype throughout the year,” said Donna.