REPORTER Grace Walton paid a visit to a school which also provides care for animals. Gloverspiece Minifarm, in Salwarpe, Droitwich, is an accredited care farm as well as a SEN primary school.

WELL it certainly wasn’t my usual In the Classroom visit. As well as having the joy of meeting new children, I also met some wonderful farm animals on site.

There was a number of rescued animals in the farm, which is based next to the school. Goats, rabbits, donkeys, horses, pigs, dogs, cats and ferrets have all been rescued.

Headteacher Lynne Duffy, who set up the school two years ago, said: “It’s a very fulfilling role. No two days are the same and you never get that feeling of not wanting to come into work. I always come in happy.

“When you see the students faces in the morning, it makes it all worth it. You build such a bond with each child. The students have come on hugely.”

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The classes are grouped together based on their ability, rather than ages. With the small classroom sizes, the children are constantly engaged and involved throughout their lesson.

The ultimate aim at the school is to get the students back into a mainstream provision and help them achieve the best they can and develop their personal skills.

The school offers a bespoke educational package for children aged between four and 12. All children have a designated support worker and have access to plenty of outdoor space and therapeutic activities alongside academic work.

Mrs Duffy added: “We heavily focus on social skills and emotional wellbeing. Many students have not had strong relationships. By being a small school, it helps the children get to know each other.

“With the morning chat, by playing sociable board games and allowing the students to play together, it gives them a sense of belonging and builds up social connections.”

A morning chat takes place every day where the students come together and share what they had done the night before. The idea of this is to encourage them to bond and build relations with one another.

The children take part in farm time, where they have lessons outside and learn all about animal care.

Class teacher, Trudy Hopley said: “It’s lovely to see the children who have come here from a mainstream setting and grow. They are engaged with their learning and they love it here.

“It’s an absolute privilege to work here and I love my job. The joy on the children’s faces are amazing.

“They have come here believing they can’t learn, but watching them grow and seeing them develop their confidence, self-esteem and self-belief is fantastic.”