Finally, we are back on the farm!
The Country Trust team rejoices as we return to farms after a long lockdown. Joy spread across schools in the UK following the Department for Education’s updated guidance for educational visits which, on 12th April, gave teachers the go ahead to take children out to the countryside again.
Our Farm Discovery Programme resumed with a Roman-themed visit to Morrells Wood Farm, organised by Julie Warburton, our West Midlands Coordinator. A refreshing change from indoor learning, Telford’s Captain Webb Primary cooked a scrumptious Roman Stew which “went down a treat amongst most children”, according to Farmer Derek (see photo to the left). The Year 4 classes tested their coordination and team skills with legion style marching, before heading into the woods to make Roman numerals from twigs. Continuing outside, Farmer Derek’s beef cows gave the pupils a warm welcome as they learnt of the Roman’s influence on British agriculture. An exhilarating day of education ended with the children creating Roman Gods with modelling clay to take home.
Simon White, teacher of Year 4 at Captain Webb Primary, spoke of the benefits of outdoor farm visits to his pupils’ mental health and learning skills, “It really gives them space to learn and puts their learning in context. Cooking and marching, we can't do that in the classroom. The children have been learning new key skills, developing their listening skills - and it has been good for them to listen to other adults. It has been a difficult year for some children and here they've had the freedom to roll around.”
A sense of freedom in a safe environment enhances children’s learning opportunities, as our Norfolk Coordinator Jacky Honour observed during her farm visit with Cobholm Primary Academy’s Reception class, “It was so great to see the children out in the fresh air, obviously enjoying themselves after being cooped up for such a long time.” Reception class teacher Lindsey Cockrill felt so impressed by the impact that visiting a real, working farm had on her pupils’ learning, that she presented Jacky with a gift to express her gratitude. The accompanying message read, ‘Thank you for giving us a lovely day out and a great learning experience.'
We are very much looking forward to further farm visits across the country this summer term. For schools not yet able to take children out of school, we are taking bookings for the autumn term. Contact your local CT coordinator or email us at [email protected] with any enquiries.