At Bale’s Farm this week we have been spending an increasing amount of time encouraging the young people to form new relationships through social interaction. Cooking is now happening in pairs which has encouraged the young people to communicate their needs with each other, sharing utensils and assisting one another with reading instructions. Now, many of the learners have been confident enough to review their peer’s cooking by giving praise and offering suggestions for improvements which could be made in the future. This has been beneficial for encouraging the young people to use full sentences and remain on task when speaking to one another. Now, we have started to notice that more social interactions are happening around the farm between learners, without prompting from staff.
Those who are completing the Horse Course have been focusing on the ‘Horse Health Care’ module this week. The module includes how to spot signs of discomfort in a horse, what should be kept in a horse first aid kit and common illnesses in the animals. The horse course has a mixture of theoretical and practical learning. This gives the opportunity for learners to build their confidence in reading and writing in a low-stakes environment, all whilst studying a subject in which they have a personal interest in. The practical element of the course is equally important as it allows for horse behaviour to be observed and for theoretical knowledge to be put to the test!
Many of the young people who attend Bale’s farm find it useful to have quiet times during the day where they have the opportunity to regulate their emotions. Having a range of animals at Bale’s Farm means that each young person is able to have their own calm space to spend time with the animal, which can often have a soothing effect. Betty the cat has been particularly friendly, now that the weather is becoming colder, and enjoying the company (and warmth) of the learners!