We are situated on the Oxon/Glos/Wilts border and welcome all ages of children to the farm on educational visits. We enjoy linking areas of the farm into the topics that are being covered at that time in school. On one of our recent visits the topic was habitats and so walked the children down through our woods and talked about the different habitats on our way to the farm. We were able to identify several and the children were able to learn about the woods; native plants; invading plants (Himalayan balsam) and several different crops on the farm. They were all surprised how many of the crops go into every day foods that they eat and there were lots of fun discussions about different breakfast cereals!
When we got back to the farm it was time to watch the cows being milked and have a go at feeding a baby calf. The children are often surprised how friendly they are.
Incorporating a farm visit into the academic year is rewarding for all. It gives the children the opportunity to see their local environment in a new light whilst having the fun and freedom of running through a field / wood. It gives the teacher a great point of reference for a topic; you remember when we saw xxx at the farm?. It gives the farmer the opportunity to engage with their community and show off their farm and skills involved on a modern farm. There are a host of resources available for teachers and having the opportunity to let children learn outside the classroom has been invaluable for many of our local schools.