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Equestrian centre offers home-schooling help to parents and schools

An equestrian centre has stepped forward to help with home-schooling by offering free “bite-sized” educational videos to parents and schools.

Jade Lemmon, a spokesman for Stainsby Grange run by Peter and Paula Allen, said the idea came as part of a wider project to “open up their doors” to charities, schools and more vulnerable people in the community.

“We’re in the process of starting a community interest company and it got us thinking about what we could do to help the community at this awful time,” Jade said. “We can’t teach at the moment and we’ve had so many phone calls from clients saying ‘can we just come and see the ponies’ and we have to say no.

“We see the benefits of people engaging with horses time and time again and we thought the only thing we could possibly do was make these videos and make them accessible to everyone, whether they are interested in horses or not.”

The five-minute videos are aimed at early learning and key stage one pupils (up to the age of seven) and have been designed to link in with elements of the curriculum. The first video features one of the riding school’s most popular ponies, Tom Thumb, and introduces children to some very basic elements of pony care.

The videos will try to underpin elements of basic life skills including the responsibility of caring for animals as well as literacy and understanding.

“I am home-schooling a three-year-old and a six-year-old at the moment and I know how difficult it can be,” Jade said.

“With these videos, people can build on what the children see or they can use them however they want. There’s no time limit, they’re very flexible and there’s no catch.”

More than 15 schools have already signed up during the first week of the initiative’s launch, as well as individual parents.

“During the last lockdown we started delivering BHS challenge awards remotely,” Jade added. “You grow into the situation and do the best with it you can. This time around we thought these videos would be the best we could do to help.

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“The feedback has been really good. Our local MP picked up on it and ever since my inbox has been blowing up.”

Stainsby Grange, in Thornaby-on-Tees, North Yorkshire, is widening its portfolio of community involvement and recently applied to be a BHS Changing Lives Through Horses centre. It already works with vulnerable people in the community, those with mental health challenges and charities.

Schools and parents can join the mailing list for the weekly videos by emailing Jade on: stainsbygrange@outlook.com.

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