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By Reading School Year 4 teacher

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Farmer John’s June ’15 blog

Farmer John’s June ’15 blog

27 Nov 2015

Tom comes to work with me once a week. He is just 21, and had a brain tumour when he was four.  He has had years of treatment and help from our health service and is surrounded by a very loving and supportive family.  The result, in spite of some limitations and frustrations, is an unusually kind, considerate, courteous and courageous young man. He shares with me a love of the countryside, and doing stuff around the farm. Tuesday was another day he was here.  We were given 10 young people from Brookfield and Castle, both special schools.  Our task was to level 6 tonnes of scalpings outside the cart shed at Rushall Manor. Somehow we (Tom and I) had to make sure they (the young people) did the work otherwise we (Tom and I) would still have to do it. So, with rakes and shovels and even a song or two, wheelbarrows kept rolling and the roadway gradually levelled. Lunch was next, followed by some thistle pulling, not so good for several rather annoyed frogs whose homes we had destroyed. Back at the farm another group had been generally clearing up and Mr Coles, their teacher, had got an outstanding for bonfire construction. The wind was quite strong from the east and although the farm yard was west, we were well away and there was a high earth bank between us and the yard. Needless to say, a spark set light to a broken bale next to a trailed grass topper and cattle crush. In no time all were burning well, which was not part of the plan.  But people appeared.  Buckets of water, fire extinguishers and Steve on his JCB soon had everything under control with no damage done… well, except our pride.

June is a busy month for schools’ camps here.  These offer children a full experience of the countryside at an affordable cost.  As well as our regular schools work we always look forward to the Englefield Schools Days.  These are an amazing couple of days showing so many different aspects of life in the countryside past and present.