Look out for Countryside Classroom’s new Farm Visits page
Countryside Classroom is a fantastic site that contains more than a thousand pieces of content across three areas: resources, places to visit and school support for teachers of all ages. Countryside Classroom partners, of which there are over thirty, work together to inspire and enable teachers to use food, farming and the natural environment more often, in and out of the classroom. In addition to having a wealth of quality assured educational content from hundreds of contributors the partnership is excited to soon launch their new Farm Visits page.
Here teachers will be able to find out everything they need to know about organising a trip to a farm, the interactive map makes it easy to find a farm close to your school and there is a brilliant guide on how to plan curriculum linked and safe visits to farms which has useful examples of risk assessments.
The first hurdle for teachers is often justifying the visit to the senior leadership team! Once you have taken pupils to a farm it is easy to see the range of benefits gained from such visits: pupils often talk about what they saw and experienced for many months after the visit. However, to gain permission to take a group to a farm, it is worth considering the opportunities awarded by such an experience and this is where the page can help.
Tim Rose, Head of Operations at Farms for City Children, said “A visit to a farm offers far more than many realise. There are huge opportunities to connect with the natural world in a purposeful and meaningful way and to get much needed hands-on learning around the field to fork journey.”
There is a wealth of opportunities for children to learn across the curriculum with strong subject links to Science, Geography or History. However, visits also provide opportunities to improve language and literacy, use practical mathematics and all have PSHE benefits. Topics covered may include seeds and plants, life cycles, animals’ needs and welfare, animal adaptations, climate change, the story of food production, minibeast hunts and identification, seasons, habitats, food chains, technology use on the farm and much more.
“Many children leave with a real passion to find out more about where their food comes from and a drive to make more informed choices. However, it can go much deeper. Meeting real farmers and producers can really broaden horizons, raise aspirations, and break down preconceptions. A visit to a farm can spark a lifelong interest in food and farming and encourage children and young people to consider a career in agriculture or food production, in turn helping us to bring in new ideas and increase diversity in our industry.” Tim Rose, Head of Operations, at Farms for City Children
The Country Trust, Countryside Learning and Ernest Cook Trust are just some of the organisations highlighted on the Farm Visits page who can help arrange farm visits for schools. Their teams can carefully tailor the trip to the needs of the class or group and hosts curate age-relevant experiences that aim to empower children through making connections and fostering curiosity.
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