Beefy biology turns Waitrose visit into science wow

Schoolchildren got hands on and in on one our recent farm visits which saw them identifying which cuts of meat come from which part of a cow and handling bovine offals to learn about anatomy.

The experience was part of a unique partnership between us and Waitrose & Partners. The programme of ten visits across the country is helping bring science, biology, food and farming to life for over 300 schoolchildren.

The visit to a Staffordshire beef and arable farm, started with an introduction to the Aberdeen Angus cattle. The children learnt about animal welfare standards, used binoculars to spot a dairy herd in the distance and discussed the differences between animals bred for meat and dairy.

During the afternoon children learned about animal feed and traceability before finding out which parts of an animal are used to produce burgers, meatballs, casserole meat, steaks and roasting joints.

But the highlight of the day was getting up close and personal with an array of organs including a cow’s tongue, lungs, heart and liver. The Year Six children, aged 11, are currently learning about circulation in class. The livestock team from Dovecote Park dissected a heart for them so they could look at the separate chambers and see how blood pumps around it. They also learned how the lungs inflate, why cows have such long tongues and what each organ does to keep us and other mammals healthy.

Teacher Sarah Wust, from John Randall Primary School, Telford, said: “These visits offer so much more than I could ever offer in class. Today we’ve covered food chains, heart and lungs, evolution, classification, healthy eating, habitats and the environment and have made so many links to the curriculum.”

Jill Attenborough, Country Trust Chief Executive, said: “These behind-the-scenes experiences teach children so much. It’s really important that children have the opportunity to meet producers and suppliers as it gives them a real insight into where their food comes from.

This is the second year of the project which has been kindly funded by Waitrose and Partners and delivered by supply chains and their producers in conjunction with Country Trust staff.

Beefy biology turns Waitrose visit into science wow Beefy biology turns Waitrose visit into science wow Beefy biology turns Waitrose visit into science wow Beefy biology turns Waitrose visit into science wow