The wonders of nature came into sharp relief for a group of schoolgirls who witnessed the birth of lambs.
Dozens of year seven students at City of Portsmouth Girls’ School had a real life lesson in science when they visited a farm at Sparsholt College in Winchester.
They had the unique chance to hold and measure newly born piglets, lambs and calves in their barns – and even had a try at milking cows.
Sparsholt is a further education college that specialises in countryside-based subjects like agriculture, fishery, equine, forestry, horticulture and animal management.
And it was the perfect destination for the 11 and 12-year-olds currently studying the science topic ‘cook’, as it gave them the opportunity to learn about life cycles on a farm and to discover where food comes from.
Marium Aljareh, 11, says: ‘It was an amazing opportunity to hold lambs and piglets – I’ve never done that before.’
Shannon Moore, 11, says: ‘It’s a once in a lifetime chance to actually milk a cow.’ Manon Robinson, 11, adds: ‘It was a really brilliant day and I’d love to go again.’
As well as giving the girls an appreciation of the agricultural practices involved in food production, they were also encouraged to think about the environment and how they can choose to make small changes for a greater impact.
One of the ways they did this was through a low waste lunch competition – where classes were set a challenge to recycle as much as possible from their lunch boxes.
Sharon Watt, head, who spent a day at the farm with the girls, says: ‘This is such an important area of learning, particularly for pupils from an inner city environment.
‘Many inner city pupils will have only ever had experience of a supermarket as the source of their food.
‘From farm to fork is essential learning and I am delighted that our girls will be able to start growing some of their own food with the development of our new allotment.’
Sparsholt runs programmes for primary and secondary schools to complement the curriculum across a range of subjects including science, as well as giving youngsters a taste of career opportunities within the industry.