School throws hen do to open urban farm

Headteacher David Miller and Daisy Ferguson with Walt the rabbit
Headteacher David Miller and Daisy Ferguson with Walt the rabbit

Rabbits, guinea-pigs, ducks and hens have been welcomed to a special school and are now being looked after by its pupils.

Pebble Brook School in Aylesbury won funding through the Mix 96 Community Challenge last year and has now opened the urban farm worth £15,000.

The schoolchildren, aged 11-19 with learning needs, returned after Easter to find the animals on the school grounds and will now care for them and earn a unique qualification in the process.

A launch party was arranged by the Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust, which oversaw the building work, and its chief executive Matthew Applegate officially opened the farm with the school’s headteacher David Miller.

The school asked the trust to name one of the new rabbits and it chose ‘Walt’.

Mr Applegate said: “Pebble Brook School’s idea opens the door to a whole new way of learning and one which we are delighted to have been involved in from start to finish.

“The fact that it will be integrated into the pupil’s curriculum - and thereby creating the prospect of them gaining a qualification, is a fantastic long-term result.”

A crowd of more than 250 - including pupils, parents and teachers - joined the party at the Churchill Avenue school on Wednesday.

The work took 10 days to complete, with help from Travis Perkins, Amey and the Landscape Group.

David Miller said: “We can’t thank the trust enough for putting the hard work and effort that they have done into this project.

“Back in September 2013, all of this was just an idea. Now the farm can be used as a resource to teach our pupils how to nurture and study small animals.

“We are looking into the prospect of other local schools visiting as the farm creates a completely different way of learning.”