Milefield Community Farm and Cafe
Our Community Farm and Café was officially opened by Lady Mayor of Barnsley in January 2017. We decided 18 months ago to renovate our old, derelict caretaker's bungalow. With the help of lots of local businesses our vision became a reality.
The school has successfully provided EYFS, KS1 and KS2 pupils with areas to grow vegetables, herbs and flowers. The school community farm homes a variety of animals including chickens, rabbits, ducks, pigs and sheep, donkeys, goats and Guinea pigs.
This provision has been provided to promote and cover the following objectives:
- To improve pupils understanding of where their food comes from
- To develop a healthier lifestyle by thinking about the food they eat and how it is produced
- To give pupils who are not academic a real purpose and responsibility in school by enabling them to gain an interest in farming and the farming industry
- To help pupils understand animal welfare and the role of farming in society today
- To bring the community into school through parental and community help
- The farm is a great learning tool for all the children. There is a particular focus on enhancing our provision for children with additional needs and for children who have challenges with communication and language.
- The farm creates a sensory experience whereby children and adults are able to touch the animals and listen to them. We have a selection of wellington boots that allows children and adults to have hands on experience.
- It supports in the delivery of the Early Years Foundation Stage and the New National curriculum. Teachers/Early Years Practitioners will regularly use the farm as part of the educational programme for children.
- The farm will be used as an educational resource for other local groups i.e. nurseries, schools, special schools and volunteers.
- The farm will also encourage parents/carers to consider healthier options and to think about where our food comes from.
- The farm will promote the purchase of Free Range Eggs, Free Range Chickens and home grown produce e.g. veg/fruit
- The allotment encourages parents to consider the health benefits of growing their own fruit and vegetables and also how it can help parents save money.
- Community Farm Nurture group provides an early intervention programme for children, comprising the restorative effects of free play in a natural environment and closely attuned nurturing interactions with specially trained Forest school staff.
- The project facilitates the development of resilience in the most vulnerable, such as children and young people from families affected by substance misuse, alcohol abuse, domestic violence, abusive relationships, neglect and poverty.
- Community farm Nurture groups, consist/run with groups of children from early years (3-5 years of age), early primary (5‐7 years of age), late primary (8‐11 years).
- All groups accessing the farm will attend weekly sessions, either morning or afternoon.
- All sessions take place outdoors irrespective of weather and include adventurous play, physical challenge, and creative activities including craft, opportunities to interact with animals, social skill building and collaboration, and opportunities to develop respect for and understanding of the natural world
- The structured framework of the sessions allows the children to develop a sense of security and to learn to keep themselves and others safe, but also gives the space for child‐initiated learning and play.
- Children will rapidly develop physical wellbeing, extend physical skills and confidence, develop emotional wellbeing, become less stressed, present greater self-regulation and display less challenging behaviours.
- Improved social skills, more openness for learning and greater self-efficacy, improved social competencies and greater ability to empathize, to collaborate and to respect peers and adults.
- Learning 0utside the classroom “Bespoke curriculum” and links to creative curriculum.
- The sale of eggs and produce from the gardens will help to pay for food for the animals on the farm.
- Companies, suppliers and individuals donate time, experience, money and resources that help to support the farm and growing areas.
- The children will have a better understanding of where their food comes from as a result of taking part in growing activities and their active involvement in running the school farm.
- All the children will take ownership of the school farm and the animals.
- Increase community engagement with the school as they are interested in the workings of the school farm.
- All classes in school are allocated duties on the farm; the KS2 children will care for the larger animals each day while the KS1 and foundation stage children will care for the chickens, ducks and rabbits.
- The school operates a topic-based creative curriculum. This gives each class the ability to incorporate the farm into all areas of learning.
- Examples of links in learning to subjects are as follows:
- Area of pens Counting in KS1 and EYFS
- Estimating the number of eggs
- Weight of food, rate of feeding, size of animals, cost of food to dead weight
Filming the animals for TV broadcasts
Spreadsheets of food costs
Sound recordings in KS1 and EYFS
Growth and birth
Care of animals/plants
Comparing farms in different countries
WW2 and food production
Art and Design:
Modeling with clay
Patterns in nature