Farm and outdoor classroom opens at Abbey Court School
Abbey Court School Trust was formed to support children and young adults with special educational needs in Medway. The school caters for pupils from the age of 3 to 19 with severe and profound & multiple learning conditions. Many of these pupils have life threatening and life limiting conditions.
Supported by funding from the Peter Harrison Foundation the Trust has opened a new Rural Activity Centre called Larkin Farm at Abbey Court School. The Centre provides real-life learning opportunities to all pupils, even though their range of needs are diverse. The farm, for example, would provide sensory experiences that the least able children, including those with degenerative conditions, could access. The life enhancing, sensory experiences of touching, petting, seeing and smelling live animals. For more able pupils, including those in the Further Education department (16-19 years old), there would be the ability to learn to care for animals; developing work related skills, life skills and reinforcing knowledge acquired in the classroom.
The Centre has a growing number of animals for the students to engage with including: donkeys, mini shetland ponies, goats, rabbits, chickens, lambs & piglets. Now that lockdown has been lifted and the school is re-open, all pupils are visiting the farm daily, and the creation of the new outdoor classroom means that even in inclement weather the children can continue with the curriculum.