Forging links with a local farm
Resource: Case study
Docking Primary School in north Norfolk is located three miles from Courtyard Farm, a mixed organic arable and livestock farm which supplies the school with beef and pork. Both farm and school were keen to build a strong relationship between them, in order to connect pupils with where some of their food comes from.
What they’ve achieved
The school council was consulted about what they would like a visit to an organic farm to include. This was an extremely useful process, highlighting the students’ interest in the people working on the farm, and getting a feel for daily life there. Pupils wanted to get involved with practical activities, to learn new skills and to feel they could help the farmer.
The school and farm planned a series of small group visits for students in years 5 and 6.They did research prior to their visits, with each of the three groups watching a film about animal welfare, finding out about one kind of farm animal, and writing interview questions for one of the farm staff. This meant that they were really engaged and interested in the visit and it had a sense of purpose.
What they say
The farmer Peter Melchett says: "These were by far the best set of visits we have had in over 20 years. The children came with a sense of purpose and the small groups were great".
And the pupils say: "Thank you for agreeing to let us go to Courtyard Farm four times! It taught us, then allowed us to go on and show the rest of the school our knowledge from the farm, so that the school and the teachers would know more about organic farming and the Soil Association. It was a fun and very enjoyable outing".
The difference it makes
The school and farm have been delighted with the programme so far, and are now planning how to continue it, develop more hands on activities for the pupils and spread the visits over a longer period than was possible previously.