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Zooming around Ambury Farm

Primary teacher Cass Sealy recently took her Year 1 class on a virtual field trip to Ambury Farm. This innovative and unique approach to learning made lockdown lessons a little more exciting for her delighted students.
Year 1 teacher Cass Sealy arranged a Zoom field trip for her students at Ambury Farm

They may be staying home for lockdown, but that hasn’t stopped students from Year 1CS getting out and about for their learning.

Last month, the ACG Sunderland Primary class enjoyed their first-ever Zoom field trip – a visit to Ambury Farm courtesy of their teacher Cass Sealy.

“I walked around the farm with a headset and mask on and introduced the class to different animals via Zoom on my mobile phone,” explains Cass. “They saw cows and baby calves, ducks and their ducklings, a very sleepy pig, lots of happy lambs and some giant Shire horses.”

The children also experienced another ‘first’ amid much giggling and hilarity …watching their teacher shrieking as she tried to escape the wrath of a crazed chicken.

“I even had to jump a fence to get away from it!”

For six-year-old Chloe Yang, the outing created a bright spot in yet another week of Level 3 restrictions. 

“I had a live farm visit with Miss Sealy, and I saw so many funny animals. It was so much fun. I loved this trip,” says Chloe.

Classmate Shayaan Kumar echoed her sentiments, adding, “The farm has lots of animals and is lots of fun. I learnt a lot about all of them.”

The field trip tied in well with current topics of learning, enabling students to not only discover more about animals but also claim a new Kiwi Guardian medal in the process.

“It was a great success, and students were able to use their technology class learning about where our food comes from,” says Cass. “There were some shocked faces when they realised precisely where milk comes from before it reaches the store!”

The Zoom field trip is one of the many innovative ways Cass and her fellow ACG Sunderland teachers have come up with to inspire, motivate and encourage their students through these challenging times. From fort building lessons and daily life skills challenges through to yoga with Peppa Pig and connecting with residents from a local rest home, there’s never a dull moment in the ACG virtual classroom.

“Engaging students is the foundation of getting our learning across - the more engaged they are, the more of a chance we have of productively improving their learning opportunities. Students’ mental wellbeing is also extremely important, so giving them things to look forward to and challenges that they can complete outside or away from a screen helps them get through each week while they’re stuck in lockdown.”

So, what’s next on the agenda for Year 1CS?

“The Zoom field trip to Ambury Farm was a real experiment. But now that we know it works, the class has voted to Zoom to Piha later this week and go rock pooling. We’ll be looking for starfish and crabs and using our identification charts from home to work out what we are finding.”

Students in Year 1CS created bright and colourful artworks to commemorate their Zoom field trip to Ambury Farm