Broadmead Primary School pupils enjoy fully funded week in the countryside


Pupils from Broadmead Primary School in Croydon, part of The Pioneer Academy Trust, have recently enjoyed an amazing ‘in nature’ residential thanks to a collaboration between the Ernest Cook Trust and Bore Place, a rural retreat in Kent.

Highlights of the residential visit to Bore Place, which 22 pupils from Years 3 – 6 were able to attend, included a tour of the farm and the 247-strong dairy herd, where the children learnt about the matriarchy in the herd and the milking process. The milk was also available in a refrigerated vending machine on site.

One child commented: “I had no idea that cows were so big in real life! Or that so much milk can come out of them!”

The children also took part in campfire making, wood work and gardening activities. It was the children’s (and some of the staff’s) first experience of making fire and then cooking on it. The smores were particular favourites but the hot chocolate and damper bread and jam came a close second.

Another highlight included laying wildlife tunnels to expose the footprints of small creatures. The children played detective to work out who had visited their tunnel.

In addition to this trip, which was arranged through a collaboration between Ernest Cook Trust and Bore Place, Broadmead Primary School is also able to provide a range of enriching cultural experiences for all pupils through The Pioneer Academy Trust’s ‘Pioneer Passport’ – a cultural capital programme. The ‘Pioneer Passport’ enables all pupils to take part in cultural capital trips at no cost to parents and carers.

Sarah Hunter, Head Teacher at Broadmead Primary School, said: “This week has been the most incredible experience for these children. They have grown in ways that we didn’t expect and now that they will go back to school and their families with a new perspective on nature and life.

“We cannot thank The Ernest Cook Trust and Bore Place enough for giving these children their first experience away from home and a week without the worries and pressures of our modern day existence. Back to basics and back to nature was truly the order of the day and truly a wonderful experience for all.

“We really hope that we can be part of the project again in the future because the more children that can benefit from this amazing opportunity, the better.”

A parent commented that they were blown away by the enthusiasm of their child when they returned having questioned whether they could survive a week without electronics… they found that they most definitely can!