Lathallan School in Angus has welcomed four alpacas to enhance student wellbeing and engagement.
Four of these characterful creatures have joined the growing number of animals living within the 60acre school grounds in Johnshaven, where animal husbandry, outdoor learning and environmental awareness is embedded in the school ethos.
Lathallan pupils have named the alpacas Fluffy, Macapaca, Popcorn and Marmalade, and are actively involved in all aspects of their care – from feeding and exercising the animals to replenishing water and maintaining their living spaces.
Headmaster of Lathallan School, Richard Toley said:
“At Lathallan, we are continuously evolving our outdoor learning opportunities, to ensure our school experience is extraordinary and stimulating for all our pupils. The alpacas are a welcome addition to our school farm which actively teaches pupils in a direct, hands-on way about animal care, conservation and sustainability.”
“As a school we strive to educate our pupils to appreciate and respect the environment, to leave people and places better than they find them.”
“I lead classes through the learning with our school alpacas and this regular interaction with pupils in a relaxed outdoor environment, gives me a greater working knowledge of pupils’ individual needs, and a better understanding of their progress.”
Lathallan’s Head of Pastoral Care, Len Wiltshire, said:
“The mental health benefits of interacting with animals are well known and there is considerable research that shows that alpacas make great therapets. Our newest additions have the potential to contribute to the wellbeing of our school community in a very real sense. Having the opportunity to care for and spend time with these animals is encouraging our pupils to appreciate the influence that such positive interactions can have on their own mental health and that of others."
Lathallan is a school where topics such as the environment are put on centre stage. Children learn about living a sustainable lifestyle – reducing, reusing and recycling - helping them feel they are part of the narrative not simply observers, so they have the power to make change.
Junior pupil at Lathallan School, Paige Milne, said:
“I just can’t believe we have our own alpacas at school. My favourite is Macapaca as she’s really friendly and her fleece is so soft.”
Last month, Lathallan school received their fifth Green Flag Award from Keep Scotland Beautiful. The Green Flag Award is recognised internationally, setting a standard of outstanding environmentalism and sustainability.
To find out more about Lathallan School visit www.lathallan.org.uk
Lathallan is an independent day and boarding school based on the edge of the stunning North Sea coastline, just north of Montrose. With an average class size of 12, and a small school roll of around 200, Lathallan inspires individuals to achieve their full potential within the spacious 60 acre grounds of Brotherton Castle.