The sun shone on assembled pupils, parents, ponies and stable staff as Bassett House and Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre celebrated the official launch of our community partnership last week.
Pupils in Years 5 and 6 are now enjoying riding lessons and ‘living curriculum’ classes at Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre (WSPC), just a few minutes away from Bassett House School (BHS).
As well as learning to ride – on both real and mechanical horses – our children are learning about all aspects of horsemanship, such as managing and grooming horses. There is also the exciting opportunity to take learning out of the classroom; rather than a biology lesson in school, pupils are studying animal science and physiology in the Pony Centre’s dedicated learning centre.
Bassett’s support for the Pony Centre ensures its long-term viability and the charity can continue its vital work, providing riding opportunities and equine therapy to students with physical disabilities or learning difficulties.
The official ribbon was cut by our Head, Kelly Gray and WSPC CEO & Founder, Sister Mary Joy Langdon.
Sister Mary said: “We are so grateful for this community connection with Bassett House School. Long may it last and develop. Who knows, in years to come some of these young people might be working at the Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre as grooms or coaches. There is so much more than riding here, so much for young people to gain from coming to the Pony Centre. You young people may be the future of the Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre. Thank you, Bassett House School, for supporting what we do here.”
Mrs Gray spoke of the “precious experiences” that Bassett House pupils are having at WSPC; their commitment to community service and their thrill at being with the horses and learning to ride. She also touched on the wellbeing aspects of the pupils’ experience – WSPC is a registered equine therapy centre and children are taking part in therapeutic exercises during their riding lessons designed to enhance their wellbeing.
Mrs Gray touched on the huge excitement at Bassett House about the Pony Centre. One of our lovely parents had commented, “Millie was buzzing about riding. Totally thrilled! Loved the grooming and the riding! She told me all about Magic the pony! I don’t think she drew breath for about an hour!
One of our pupils, Hugo, a Form 3 child told his parents and teachers, “I have had my best day at Bassett yet!”
This new partnership is a fantastic example of community in action and it has enormous benefits for both Bassett House pupils and the volunteers, staff and other users of Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre.