20 Jun 2023

Millfield Prep School supports local school-boy with horses

Eight-year-old Luke, a Year 4 pupil at Elmhurst Junior School, has benefited from some alternative provision that Millfield has been able to provide.

Millfield Prep invited Luke to assist the equestrian team in grooming the horses, feeding them and walking them back to their stables, to help build his trust, resilience and emotional literacy.

Since attending Millfield Prep for an hour and a half every week during the summer term, Luke has now expressed that he wants to continue working with horses in the future.

Elmhurst have expressed their delight with the support Luke has received. They said: “It has improved his self-esteem; it gives him a sense of purpose and he realises that he can achieve things.

He releases all of those happy chemicals when he visits, and he takes them back into the classroom and he is motivated.

The importance of something like this is invaluable.”

Luke first arrived at Millfield anxious and hesitant. With gradual progress each week, he is now confident and assured around the yard, guiding the horses to their stables.

The equestrian centre uses a traffic light system as a risk assessment for the horses. The colours indicate how pupils should interact with the horses depending on the certain area. If the horse has a red dot against grooming for example, pupils may need support from staff.

Andy Leafe, who is the Luke’s PFSA (Parent, Family, support advisor), expressed the significance of this practical learning for Luke.

He said: “When you are trying to teach children the importance of reading, you can sit them in front of a book but they don’t understand the importance of it. When we bring Luke here, he realises that you have to read the information and understand how to act with a horse. He recognises the importance of having that ability to read signals. With maths, measuring out food helps him understand the importance of horses having certain amounts.

Putting the curriculum into practice, is showing him how important it is and motivates him.”

Hayley Glyn-Jones, the Director of Equestrian at Millfield Prep School, shared her delight with the relationship she has developed with Luke.

“It is so important that we can share our facilities with the local community. Luke is a caring boy, and it has been amazing to see his confidence grow with every visit – he has been a delight on the yard. It has been a slow process of Luke getting to know the horses and getting the confidence to approach them. But he now knows the horses and understands them; they make him happy, so it’s been a real boost of his confidence.”



Millfield Prep School