Passmores Academy students spend day on the farm

Education: Secondary / Sun 31st Oct 2021 at 09:56am

ON Wednesday 20 October, twenty Year 10 students from Passmores Academy, Harlow, spent the day volunteering at Wellgate Community Farm as part of the Yes Futures charity’s Rising Futures programme. 

Yes Futures is a multi-award winning education charity. The charity specialises in running personal development programmes in Essex, London and the South East, to help students to realise their potential and develop the life skills needed to succeed in further education, training and employment. 

A key part of the Rising Futures programme is the Play Your Part day, where students volunteer with a local community project. Throughout the day, students realise the benefits of giving back to their community, and develop key teamwork, communication and vocational skills outside of the school environment. 

Before setting off for the farm, Passmores students set themselves a goal for the day, based on the four Yes Futures’ Talents: confidence, communication, resilience and self-awareness. Many of the students set themselves a goal of improving their communication or resilience: for example, by talking to new people at the farm, or not giving up even if the activities were challenging. 

When they arrived at the farm, students were split into three groups and took part in a range of activities. Their first activity was mucking out the animal enclosures, ensuring that all the animals had clean bedding and giving them enough food and water for the day. Students were then tasked with building a wormery, and learned from the Wellgate Community Farm team about how their hard work was helping the environment by minimising waste. 

After lunch, each group of students was given an animal welfare checklist and got to choose which of the animals they wanted to inspect, to make sure they were physically healthy. Students really enjoyed learning how to care for the farm animals and having the chance to get up close and personal with the animals.

Back at school, students reflected on what they’d learned from the day and whether they’d succeeded in meeting their goal. Many students highlighted that they’d enjoyed getting to speak to new people in their year group, and having the chance to give back to their community. When asked what they’d enjoyed most about the day, one student said that “I feel like speaking to new people has been really good and [I’ve enjoyed] being able to help the community in other ways.”

To find out more about Yes Futures and their programmes, visit https://www.yesfutures.org/ 

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