Learning beyond the curriculum is pivotal to the MCM experience and Barton Farm provides convenient access for the community to an outdoor venue for multiple functions. The upkeep of the farm has provided all members of the community – from Pre-school pupils to parents -an opportunity to become involved and has helped to build a strong sense of community.
The aim of Barton Farm is to offer another facility to promote the wellbeing of all the MCM community. By providing opportunities to learn to care for animals and plants, the pupils can learn and practise the processes of growing, harvesting and feeding. With Farmer Dil providing guidance, working on the Farm allows pupils to give up some of their time and serve the community.
The involvement of the pupils in the farm is extensive. Senior School and Upper Prep School pupils have activity sessions through the week and parents are encouraged to join these sessions. Prep boarders regularly visit on weekends to tend their vegetable patches and senior boarders, on rotation through each of the houses, have the responsibility to ensure that the chickens are released from the coop in the morning, fed and then secured in the coop in the evening. The Pre-School and Nursery classes are active users, taking walks around the Farm, enjoying Golden Time, sampling the produce and listening to Story Time in the shade of the atap.
Not only does Barton Farm aim to support the mental health of pupils within the College, it also provides the opportunity to become more involved in making the College more sustainable and eliminating waste. Kitchen food preparation waste is used for composting; shredded paper is turned into the soil; and rainwater is harvested for irrigation.
Barton Farm will build on this initial success and continue to evolve by introducing different crops and animals, by hosting new activities and, as nature intended, growing and maturing.