A SCHOOL in Horwich has opened a farm to the community as part of their welcome day this week.

Lever Park Academy became inspired to build a small farm in September, during the summer holidays to keep pupils entertained.

The Bolton Impact Trust - which took over the school in 2016 - saw the farm as a solution to help meet the additional needs of children , including those with special and additional needs.

Following the success and interest from those in the community, the farm officially opened yesterday.

Headteacher Matthew Taylor said: “It offers a lot to children who really need it. They aren’t just naughty, there is a reason why, so this really is in the interest of meeting their needs.

“Staff will take them out of class to look after the animals, and the distraction works, because when they come back to class, they are calm.”

The animals are mainly rescues or fosters, which have been donated from friends, and family, and people in the community.

There is a wide variety of animals at the farm such as sheep, ducks, chickens, ferrets, rabbits, goats, and pigs.

Farmer Olivia Fay teamed up with a friend - who donated the sheep - last Easter during lambing season for the farm

As a way of embedding this into the curriculum, children are able to study an animal management course, which they can go on to study in college.

Some duties the children can be involved in include checking up on the health and wellbeing of animals, as well as having the opportunity to also look after a classroom pet.

Olivia said: “We want to show them what it’s like in the real world, explaining that we have different types of ducks and chickens for example, because a lot of our kids didn’t know much about them.

“We use the eggs in school for their breakfast, where they can learn where they come from.

“I grew up on a farm, and always wanted to work with animals and kids, so now I can do both.”