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Archive for February, 2013

Innovative Ideas from Brentwood Pupils

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

On Friday 8th February, Old Macdonald asked a few of us to attend the Brentwood Education and Careers Fair at the Brentwood Centre, organised by Brentwood Learning Partnership, and what a great day it was! Two students on work experience with Old Mac, Katie and Ross, came along to do all the work and I just stood there and watched.

We had pupils from Bentley St Paul’s School, Ingrave Johnstone, and St Helens who worked hard and came up with some great ideas, so we thought we would share some of them with you.

We set them the task of coming up with some new ways to promote the concept of sustainability, conservation and climate change (well, it saves Old Macdonald money if primary children do this for us as a task rather than paying our designers) and they did not let us down. First of all we talked about some of the animals at the farm who are endangered or who have been, and this inspired one group (boys, but not that we are linking that with the concept) to design a new on line game where endangered animals drive around and shoot hunters! Fantastic scheme, and when I told Old Macdonald it reminded him of one of his favourite poems by Charles Causley:

I Saw A Jolly Hunter
I saw a jolly hunter with a jolly gun
Walking in the country In the jolly sun

In the jolly meadow sat a jolly hare
saw the jolly hunter took jolly care

Hunter jolly eager sight of jolly prey
forgot gun pointing wrong jolly way(!)

Jolly hunter jolly head over heels gone
jolly old safety catch not jolly on!

Bang! went the jolly gun. Hunter jolly dead
Jolly prey got clean away Jolly good I said

Now for the other groups, and what innovative ideas they had too! First we had the idea to link recycling and the conservation of animals, focusing on our Kune Kune Pigs which is a breed that was in great danger of extinction only 40 years ago but now, due to careful work in breeding programmes, have been saved. This campaign shows that dropping litter is dangerous in two ways. First it is wasteful for the environment which is harmful, and second litter can cause harm to wildlife and indeed to farm animals. Great poster, see below.

Then the third group, who came up with another great idea and this suggests that furniture around the farm, such as litter bins and benches, could be interactive in that infra red beams are triggered by people walking past and then voices reflecting our animals explain important aspects of their lives. (The boys suggested the infra red beams by the way!) This group also wanted the lids of litter bins to be linked to the messages. They also want the messages to explain food that is harmful to animals at the farm and to pets too, and that would add to the educational aspects.Below are some more drawings, and try and look closely at the wonderful sketch of the Otter in these, as it is a little faint in the reproduction, but is a real work of art.

So what a good time we had and we thank all the pupils who attended. They were a pleasure to work with and a credit to their schools. And they came up with some really exciting ideas too. All this work is on display at the farm noticeboard.