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You can donate to the Varndean Goats Fund via our Donate Page - Please click Donate.
Every carrot helps
Goat fans everywhere, you can now sponsor the goat of your choice for a 12 month period. Sponsorship can be corporate, personal or collaborative and comes with special goaty limited edition benefits!
VARNDEAN GOATS - ONE YEAR IN
We honestly can’t believe it’s only been a year and a bit since the Goats arrived at Varndean. Here at Goat HQ our entire lives have been changed forever by these fabulous, furry wonders who now live in the heart of our school and are a wonderful addition to our days. And what a year it’s been!
Aside from the fun we’ve had at our daily Goat Club, where students come along every day and learn to look after, care for and have fun with the goats, our animal therapy project has also attracted the attention of the media, and we’ve featured in a huge range of publications; the Times Educational Supplement, The Telegraph, The Times, The Guardian, to name only a few. We’ve also reached publications as far away as Russia and the USA and have featured in our very own Podcast with our friends at Pivotal Education. You may have heard about the great Goat Race for Comic Relief that we held earlier this year, when we raised well over £4000 for charitable causes, and we have continued to fundraise for our own school charities throughout the year.
We're really proud of how much wonderful attention our project has received, and whilst the media attention is great fun & has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our students, what lies at the heart of Varndean Goats is animal therapy. Interacting with animals is a hugely important part of growing up. One of the first things we teach very young children is to recognise the sights and sounds of animals in the books, toys and games we give them.
As toddlers grow, a trip to the farm or zoo is seen as a great treat where children delight in being around real animals, touching, learning and watching with delight, and wanting to interact with them. Many children go on to have their own pet at home, but all too often, as children get older and their lives are overtaken with school work, activities and the massive draw of TV and social media, they lose touch with that instinctive draw to be outdoors and part of the natural world.
At Goat Club we believe that everyone still has that child within them, and we give our students the opportunity to explore their love of fun, adventure, the outdoors and nature. We provide opportunities to learn about animal care and nurture at the same time, and we also provide a safe, quiet place during the day, where communication can be whatever you need it to be; verbal, non-verbal, a furry hug, a friendly headbutt or maybe just hanging out with your friends, four-legged or two-legged, friendship doesn’t count feet.
We’ve got lots of fun things coming up in the next few weeks, a visit from our alpaca friends, a Goat Trip in the new year and lots of fun fundraising activities.
The Goats get their own Pivotal Podcast
Check out the goats' perspectives on living in a school and the benefits they bring to us all. Listen to the mp3 at the bottom of this page.
New for Summer 2017 - We offering the chance to meet & walk with the famous Varndean Goats!
To raise money to our goat, rabbit and visiting alpaca programme, we are now offering the chance for goat fans to book a 20 minute walk with the goat or goats of your choice. Accompanied by two of our Goat Leaders, goat walks are available most evenings after school between 3.30pm and 5.00pm. You will be able to walk a goat around the Varndean School grounds (weather permitting), and ask any questions you have of our expert student Goat Leaders.
Goat walks are £5 per person (children under 11 must be accompanied by a non-paying adult). If you would like to book a goat walk, please email email@example.com to arrange a suitable date. Monday to Friday during term time only.
All proceeds will go towards our animal therapy programme to support the cost of keeping our wonderful animals.
We're also hoping to have a chance to offer alpaca walks later this term too, so keep an eye out for more details.
in April 2017, we were delighted to welcome two new arrivals to the GoatQuad. Challenge and Pride the mini-lop rabbits came to live with us and have settled in really well. Our students were keen to learn about all things bunny, so we have now appointed a team of Rabbit Rangers who are busy learning how to care for the rabbits and keep our little friends healthy and safe.
Challenge & Pride the rabbits:
Staff and students spend time with the goats every lunchtime at Goat Club, where they can come along and meet the goats, learn how to feed and care for them and maybe even take them for walks around the school grounds. We are firm believers in the power of animal therapy in supporting students in stressful times, and the power of nurture is a proven tool in the practice of mindfulness and wellbeing.
Parents can also donate to our Goat Fund when they log into Wisepay to pay for school dinners. To donate, just click on the goat picture, then select the amount you'd like to donate, then make a payment in the normal way.
All donations go towards paying for the food, care and medical costs for the goats. All of the goat carers' time is given completely voluntarily. The goats will also play their part in our Eco pledge by volunteering to eat any used fruit and vegetables from our school canteen.
This is Ethel, Ellis School's pampered mascot. Ethel is a quiet shy goat but with a steely determination to get to the front of the dinner queue. Ethel is the star of her own Day In The Life movie.
If you have any great ideas about how we can use the goats in our work with students, or to support learning, then we would love to hear from you and the goats would love to join in!
Our dedicated support staff look after the goats in the holidays and at weekends, and even checking up on them remotely by Goatcam! We are members of the British Goat Society and the Pygmy Goat Club to keep up to date on the latest information and goaty care guidance to make sure we take the very best care of them.
Keep watching our web page and twitter accounts for more information on our friends.