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Smithdon High School

Pupils flock to meet woolly visitors

Our school played host to three unusual visitors at the beginning of March, when a mother sheep and her two lambs came to stay.

The three animals spent a week at Smithdon High School, as part of a project run by the Food and Farming Discovery Trust.

“The purpose of the visit was to increase the awareness of farming in our area and to encourage students to understand the term ‘farm to fork’,” said Rebecca Dibble, Food Teacher at our school, which is a member of the West Norfolk Academies Trust.

The trio were part of a flock of Jacobs owned by farmer Gillian Christian, and were housed in a pen and shelter next to the Sports Hall for the duration of their stay.

As well as interacting with students at Smithdon, the sheep were also visited by pupils from a nearby primary school.

“We had Year 1s and 2s visit from Hunstanton Primary School, and they took part in activities that were organised and run by our Year 10 students,” continued Mrs Dibble.

“During this, they learnt about why sheep are shorn and what can be done with the wool afterwards, what it takes to look after sheep on a daily basis, where our food comes from, and had a go at designing a woolly hat.

“Our Year 7s and 8s also took part in the same activities.”

“It is important to allow all students the opportunity to see animals close up that aren’t just pets, as not all students get to visit zoos or park farms,” added Headteacher Amanda Gibbins.

“It also helps students to understand why farming is important and how we need farmers to keep us fed.

“Many of our students were excited to have real, live sheep in school, and those involved in helping to care for the sheep and her lambs made an amazing commitment to their welfare, benefiting as much themselves as they gave to the sheep.”