Aug 09 - Three little pigs go to school

Three little piglets have just arrived at the Royal Alexandra and Albert School in preparation for the start of term in September. Chuck and Olive the Oxford Sandy and Blacks, and Aunt Vivienne, the Saddleback have moved in to the orchard in the school’s grounds. The 8 week old piglets will be looked after by Countryside Management BTEC pupils as part of the animal husbandry course. There will also be a pig keeping after-school club so other children can learn about looking after these useful animals.

Teacher, Mr Greenhalgh says “Pupils will learn about the use of livestock in conservation. In the case of pigs, they are excellent for turning over the soil and removing weeds without the use of chemicals. They also add manure which enriches the soil. At the moment the pigs and are turning over ground which will become allotments where pupils will grow seasonal vegetables. The pigs will be given the opportunity to root around various parts of the schools’ grounds in Gatton Park, including the orchard, woodlands and fields.

“We hope to add to our livestock collection by bringing in two goats soon. They will be used in different locations to keep the grass down. The pigs will be the bulldozers and the goats will be the lawn mowers!”

Headmaster Paul Spencer Ellis said “With the growing pressure on global resources, it is increasingly important for people to understand where their food comes from and to have an appreciation of how it is produced. By introducing animals into a school setting we can teach pupils important practical skills that will be useful in later life.”

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