CASTLE Tower School has been on an amazing journey over the past year thanks to the ABP Angus Youth Challenge.
The five pupils – Daniel, Joshua, Martin, Scott and Zach – have enjoyed so many wonderful trips out to different farms throughout NI thanks to their mentor Hannah McNelis from CAFRE. They have learned so much about the positive benefits agriculture has to offer and got to rear five calves of their own with their friends on their teacher’s farm.
This competition has really boosted the boys’ interest in agriculture. Now in Year 13, they are studying Land Based Studies (LANTRA) Level 2 and several LANTRA skills cards ranging from leaf blowers to tractor driving.
When the boys first entered the competition in Year 11, they didn’t think that they would progress so far or have such fun. During Covid-19, when all trips and visits were cancelled in school, the boys were able to go to the farm as a ‘class bubble’. This proved to be extremely beneficial both mentally and physically for them. They had a barbecue on the farm and showed their calves to their parents and held a ‘split the pot’ fundraiser for ‘Friends of Cancer’.
Recently the boys brought their five calves into school. This allowed them to show the calves to all the pupils and staff of Castle Tower School. The competition ends at Halloween when the calves will leave the farm and the winner of the competition will be announced soon afterwards.