The Agricultural Challenge for Special Schools final was a great success!

The Newbury & District Agricultural Society ran their annual Agricultural Challenge for Special Schools over the Autumn and Spring school terms where participating schools enjoyed making ‘country-themed’ items from the following categories:

  • A collage based on a 'Country Garden' theme
  • A cookery class: ‘Something savoury with an animal theme’
  • A model of an item of farm machinery made from recycled materials
  • A homemade bug house
  • A home-grown hanging basket
  • A country craft task: weaving, felting, rug making etc.
  • A visual diary: ‘A year in the life of a tree’

The schools did an amazing job of creating some imaginative and colourful items, such as hanging baskets made out of plastic bottles, decorative bowls made out of leaves and homemade bread in the shape of a hedgehog.

On the 27th April, all the schools got together at the Mary Hare School in Newbury to present their items. Over the course of the morning, a panel of judges moved around the room, talking to the children who were very excited to explain how they made their crafts.

After some lunch and a few games, the judges announced their winners:

1st place for overall ‘Best in Show’ went to Prior’s Court Young Adults Provision, 2nd place went to Addington School and joint 3rd went to Mary Hare Primary and Prior’s Court Schools.

The winners of the individual categories were:

A home-grown hanging basket – Prior’s Court Young Adult Provision

An animal-themed savoury dish – Addington School

A country garden collage – Addington School

A country craft – Prior’s Court School

A bug house – Mary Hare Primary School

The winners received a trophy and a cheque to cover their costs for participating. All children who were involved received a certificate to take back to school with them.


“This project continues to be very popular with Special Schools.”, explains Education Officer, Jan Murray. “The staff set the categories so they have ownership of the challenge from the beginning. The students love meeting young people from other schools and seeing what they have done and the teachers enjoy the opportunity to network.  The judges are always bowled over by the high standard of work so everyone benefits.”

Robert Astor, The Royal County of Berkshire Show President - "This is the second time I have been privileged to judge this competition. The excitement in the room is palpable and the winners all receive their prizes to rapturous applause, and deservedly so. I would like to invite the teachers to the rostrum; I met Miss Woodhouse, Maxine and Jan from the schools that took part in my category of the judging, but all the teachers deserve the highest praise for their skill and dedication."

Keith Chopping, The Royal County of Berkshire Show Chairman – ‘The application and imagination put in by the pupils who competed in this competition was a joy to behold. It was clear they had spent a good deal of time and imaginative thought into preparing their entries. They should all be complemented on their efforts – they were all winners on the day.”


From Addington School – “A huge thank you for yesterday, everyone really enjoyed it. We really do appreciate all the hard work that goes in to making the event so successful. Our students enjoyed showing off their work and chatting to the judges. Edward was thrilled to carry the trophy back to school and show it off to his class mates”

From Mary Hare Primary School – “The children have come back so enthusiastic”

From Prior’s Court Young Adult Provision – “Thanks again for today, the young adults really enjoyed being a part of this”

To participate in next year's challenge or for more information, email  

Share This Post