Pupils from Glenrothes High School have been participating a project in conjunction with Elmwood College’s Equine Department. ‘Supporting Learning through Positive Diversions’ is a project aimed to equip pupils with the fundamental skills, attitudes and responsibilities necessary to contribute and participate effectively.
The 15 week project provided the six pupils with the opportunity to attend College for 1 afternoon per week learning a range of skills including stable routine, grooming, horse nutrition as well as being introduced to riding.
The project was funded by the Emile Faurie Foundation, which was established in 2006 by one of the UK’s leading equine sportsmen, Emile Faurie. The Emile Faurie Foundation is a unique collaboration of schools, riding establishments and fundraisers whose aim is to help as many children as possible experience the joys and benefits of horsemanship.
Emile is one of the country’s top international dressage riders and trainers and has represented GB at World, European and Olympic level. He is a British Dressage judge and the World Class coach for the National Start and Potential squad.
Teacher Carol Wilson explained that the school had contacted Emile Faurie and were delighted to secure funding for the project. The benefits to those participating in the project included increased confidence, taking responsibility for the care of the horses, team working and developing positive relationships with staff and fellow pupils, all of which has had a positive impact on other areas of their school life.
From a college perspective it was the first time, the equine team had been involved in this kind of activity, Kirstie Hardie, Programme Manager for Equine Studies and Animal Care said, “ It has been very rewarding working with this group of pupils, they have made huge strides over the duration of the project. Horses are a great leveler, the responsibility of caring for them gave the pupils a real focus. I hope we will be able to be involved in projects like this in the future.”
All the pupils were complete novices when they started the project, but they were able to perform a dressage display for staff including Glenrothes High School, Rector on the final week of the project. She commented. “ Glenrothes High School appreciate the opportunity provided by the Elmwood’s equine department for our young people, there is absolutely no doubt of the positive impact working with these beautiful animals has had on our pupils.”