A Farm Shop? We've Got a Farm School! Class Act: Headmistress Anne Miller and the Refurbished Cowshed Which Now Holds Two Classrooms. Above: Pupils Play Football around the Sheep on Her Old Vegetable Patch

Daily Mail (London), December 13, 2007 | Go to article overview

A Farm Shop? We've Got a Farm School! Class Act: Headmistress Anne Miller and the Refurbished Cowshed Which Now Holds Two Classrooms. Above: Pupils Play Football around the Sheep on Her Old Vegetable Patch


Byline: LUKE SALKELD

THE once-derelict cowshed is the classroom, the farmyard is now aconcrete playground and the old vegetable patch is the football pitch.

Welcome to Hollyfields, the school in the middle of a working dairy farm.

And, with sheep and chickens roaming around at playtime, it's safe to say the23 pupils are enjoying a broader curriculum than usual.

Geoffrey Miller and his wife Anne, a teacher, set up the private school aftertheir village's state-run primary closed in July and Mrs Miller lost her job.

The Millers spent [pounds sterling]250,000 converting the derelict shed into two classrooms,toilets, office and staff room in time for the start of term.

Now Mrs Miller employs four staff - all former colleagues from the old school -to help look after the four to nine-year-olds at West Bourton, near Gillingham,Dorset.

She is also helped by her mother who comes in to read stories and teachknitting.

Mr Miller, 74, whose family have owned 400-acre Blackwater Farm for 112 years,said: 'Some farmers diversify with a farm shop or letting out holidayaccommodation.

'I doubt many of them have turned part of their farm into a school and have 23kids running about at lunchtime. …

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