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St Stephen's

Building Each Other Up in Love and Learning

Year 6 - Hooke Court - Day 4

Can anyone believe it’s the last full day here at Hooke Court? We can’t. Time definitely flies when copious amounts of fun are being had.  After breakfast, the children were elated to find out that they would be receiving a letter from home to read. 

The common room was glowing with their smiles as they read and re read their mail.  



But, as has been the case for the rest of week, there was no rest for wicked! All letters were read and we headed upstairs to once again, don our outdoor gear and get ready for an action packed day of activities! Well, more specifically…our much anticipated ‘Food and Farming Day’! And without questionable doubt, boy did it not disappoint! 

We took a bit of a break from the WWI topic today and shifted gears by learning about cooking, particularly the importance of a balanced, healthy diet and how we can achieve this by eating seasonally to enjoy food to it’s potential! Furthermore, we explored local foods and farms: Hooke Farm, the Trout Farm and Bridge Farm – a working dairy farm.  

The children were absolute stars while they listened to the resident cook here at Hooke Court, Jackie, talk about the benefits of sourcing local foods and how they can benefit not only the communities we live in but the global environment as well. It really made us consider the changes we can continue to make in our lives to strive to save Planet Earth.

Time to cook! Children were split into small groups and were asked to prepare a selection of soups, scones, jam, rolls and apple juice, which was all farmed in the local area. The most impressive food by far was the fresh trout that had been caught mere hours before we got underway.  They all rose to the challenge and prepared the food beautifully following multiple steps, utilising their knife skills and working together to run their stations.  However, the joyous feeling of snacking on their cooking would have to wait while the Hook Court staff baked and cooked while we took a short break.

After we ate, it was time for lunch!  There was no better way to follow up some nice home cooking than with a fresh batch of sausage rolls – filling from the pigs last years Year 6 children saw as two week old piglets, which was explained by resident farmer Mike and generated a brilliant discussion amongst children. Next were our scones and home-made jam...people came for seconds, even thirds! The Hooke Court staff even came in asking for some! Michelin star chefs in the making! Now, that we were all finally full up and re-fuelled, we strapped up and headed to the farms for our afternoon sessions.  

The first stop of our afternoon journey came when we arrived at the pig and sheep farm right here on the property.  The farmer graciously answered any and all questions that the children could muster and even let them chuck an apple or two into the pen for the adorable piglets to munch on.  Who knew that pigs were such messy eaters?

Once we had soaked in every ounce of new information we headed on to the dairy farm for a quick visit. Helen, one of the owners of Bridge Dairy Farm, did a brilliant job of showing us the ins and outs of daily life on the farm and once again gave the children a chance to ask questions.  Us teachers found ourselves commenting on the quality of the questions being asked.  They really rose to the occasion and were thinking critically about all aspects of what they were learning.  It really was a joy to witness. 

Towards the end of the visit, we split into two groups and were shown the actual milking process as well as the holding tank for milk awaiting pick up and transport.  There was some tricky maths involved when the children tried to work out what the farm was earning on an average month based on income and outcome! 

Dinner destroyed, ice-creams devoured, checked shirts donned and denim attire dug out must mean it was FINALLY time for one thing and one thing only…The 2019 Barn Dance. Although, it’s probably worth mentioning that we’re not sure who was more excited: the children or the staff! Everyone loved it, even those resistant to the idea of dancing were swinging their partners around by the end! What a brilliant way to end our final night here! 

Little did the children know, awaiting back in the common room were freshly baked cakes, more home-made jam and rich hot chocolate. Now that really is how to end the night on top form!

Until tomorrow, it’s goodbye from us when you’ll hear our final instalment, we bid you goodnight!