At DES IB PYP International School, we have seen firsthand how a school animal farm can meaningfully impact a child’s development. It can reinforce key concepts in their learning journey and help them grow into more compassionate, caring and reflective human beings.
We share three benefits of our school animal farm that we have seen make the most significant difference in the lives of our young learners.
1. Develops caring learners
As our children interact, nurture, and care for the well-being of the farm’s animals, they learn to develop a sense of empathy and compassion for them. Being empathetic and compassionate are essential attributes of the IB Learner profile that are vital to an individual’s ability to significantly contribute to the betterment of their community, country and world.
By caring for the farm’s living things, children quickly grow in their capacity to see in themselves a higher calling to nurture and care for the environment they live in.
2. Provides opportunities for learning outside the classroom
Learning on the school animal farm allows our students to connect what they have been learning in the classroom to real-world situations. The farm space becomes a place for them to apply what they currently know, test out some of their ideas and further their understanding of different concepts through practical, firsthand experiences.
Learning then becomes an authentic experience as children are encouraged to take control of their learning and become more active in seeking knowledge and solving problems.
3. Enhances literacy and language skills
The children become exposed to new vocabulary in an authentic learning environment. As they engage in more complex activities surrounding the growth of these animals, they are introduced to new words and ideas as they learn the names of different animals and the terms used for environmental processes and systems. Engaging in this process allows children to develop a stronger sense of vocabulary and literacy through hands-on experiences.