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Church of England Primary Academy

The rock for our community

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Our Vision

Our Vision for The Ark


Our vision for ‘The Ark’ is to improve the standards across the school. We understand that the children in our school face more barriers to their learning than their peers nationally.  The Ark will enhance the children's life experiences, offering them opportunities to work with animals and connect with nature.  The Ark is a fabulous facility which enhances the learning of all pupils at Peterhouse Primary Academy.  We believe that having this facility will help improve the children's enjoyment of lessons, promote and develop self esteem and independence whilst offering the children new and realistic experiences.


All these ideals play a pivotal roll in improving the outcomes for all our children.  Recent research shows that outdoor learning has a positive impact on enjoyment of lessons and health and wellbeing (Natural Connections Demonstration Project, 2012- 2016: Final Report).


Natural Connections Demonstration Project




Our Aim for The Ark


  • The Ark gives our children the opportunity to be very hands-on with their learning across the curriculum. 
  • It affords the children the opportunity of building and developing relationships.
  • The children are given the scope to learn about healthy eating, addressing poverty and offering practical solutions to help improve their economic well being.
  • To offer a safe environment to our children to be able to build self-worth through teamwork and successful completion of tasks.
  • To help develop caring learners.

How we use The Ark in the curriculum


The Ark is in an enviable position that it can be used as a cross curricular resource.  It is used specifically in our EYFS, Science and Life Skills (RHSE) curriculum.




To be confirmed




Year 1      Animals including humans

  • Understanding that animals have different habitats. 
  • Features of different animals.


  • Know that some plants have flowers.
  • Know that trees that keep their leaves are called evergreen.
  • Know that trees that lose their leaves are called deciduous.

                 Seasonal Changes

  • Linked to art
  • To draw the same tree in each season and to notice and understand the changes.


Year 2      Animals including humans

  • To identify and match several different animal offspring and their adult forms.
  • To describe the main stages of at least 2 different animal life cycles.  The children will have the opportunity to watch eggs hatch and see the animal develop.
  • To name three basic needs of all animals to survive.              


  • Longitudinal plant study.

                Living things and their habitats

  • To understand that things are alive, dead or have never been alive.
  • To understand that animas need the correct habitat to survive through designing and building bug hotels.


Year 3     Rocks and soils

  • To understand the difference between rocks and their formation.
  • To understand the difference between different oil types.   Investigate the type of soil on the farm.


  • Longitudinal plant study.
  • Identify and describe the functions of different parts of flowering plants: roots; stem/trunk; leaves; and flowers. 
  • Explore the requirements of plants for life and growth (air, light, water, nutrients from soil, and room to grow).  Grown our own pansies and violas to conduct experiments.


Year 4    Living things and their habitats 

  • Longitudinal plant study.
  • Recognise that environments can change and that this can sometimes pose dangers to living things.   Children will look at the bug hotels that Year 2 have built and assess their effectiveness.


Year 5     Living things and their habitats

  • Longitudinal plant study.
  • Describe the differences in the life cycles of a mammal, an amphibian, an insect and a bird.  The study of the lifecycles of a butterfly which will be released into the nature area.  Year 5 will link with Year 2 to discuss and compare the lifecycles.
  •  Describe the life process of reproduction in some plants and animals.  Grow strawberries.


Year 6     Living things and their habitats

  • Longitudinal plant study.
  • Use first-hand observation to identify characteristics shared by the animals in a group.




Life Skills (RHSE)



Other areas of the Curriculum


Year 6 will be undertaking an exciting project after their SATs that will link to The Ark and allow them to leave their legacy at Peterhouse.


The farm is used by the Nurture team in a variety of ways including:

1:1 sessions

Group planting to help improve social skills and friendship skills.

Group lessons, interacting with the animals to begin to understand empathy and caring.


How we use The Ark in our Community


Moving forward from the pandemic, we want to become The Rock in our Community.  The Ark will help by:

  • Growing produce to sell to the community.
  • Providing areas for families to grow their own produce.
  • Allowing other schools to access our provision.
  • Having Open Days for the general public to share the work we do.