TWO new additions in the form of seven-month-old Boer goats have been welcomed by pupils to the farm at Marden Vale Academy in Calne.

Marden Vale Academy, previously St Dunstan Primary School now part of the Diocese of Salisbury Academy Trust, opened the farm in March to help pupils develop confidence, self-esteem, teamwork and problem solving.

A competition will decide the goats' names in the near future.

Nurture Teacher, Nicola Fry, said: “The farm has gone from strength to strength and without the continuous dedication from the Nurture Team, the children, and our local community, the farm would not be the wonderful outdoor learning provision that it is.

“Every day, the children are responsible for feeding the animals; taking the rabbits and guinea pigs to their runs for daily exercise; walking the ferrets; cleaning out hutches/coops and the goat pen and generally ensuring that the animal’s welfare is paramount.

“In return, the children have learnt the importance of being responsible young citizens; growing in empathy and understanding and developing important life skills.”

The farm was created from an abandoned piece of school land but is now home to four rabbits, two giant rabbits, four guinea pigs, two ferrets and six chickens.

Since then, children and staff have continued to raise all the money needed to maintain the area through fundraising events and further letter writing.

A teddy bear tombola event, selling Fry’s Farm’s own free range eggs and a donation by South Western Housing Association have all helped.

The school hopes to continue with the farm’s expansion with more resources for pupils and equipment for the animals.