Media students film a farm visit for BBC Voices and Change4Life
Resource: Case study
Dereham Neatherd High School in Norfolk believes that visiting a working farm is the most effective way to teach children about where food comes from: so much so that media students at the school have used their link farm to come up with an entertaining and educational film about the origins of food for Change4Life and BBC Voices.
What they’ve achieved
The first secondary school in the East of England to be awarded Silver, Dereham Neatherd is pioneering school when it comes to incorporating food education into the curriculum. Over the course of the 2010/2011 school year, Dereham Neatherd High has taken groups of science, geography, media studies, life skills and maths students, as well as the gardening club and SNAG team, to Rookery Farm in Elsing on three separate occasions.
Sam Burton, a member of the gardening club in Year 8, describes in the school blog how his group of SNAG, geography and science pupils collected eggs, milked the cows, fed the pony and rode in a tractor trailer.
On another occasion, GCSE Media Studies students took video footage of the farm for their funny and inspiring healthy eating film for Change4Life and BBC Voices, which you can view on the school’s website. In the film, Teacher Tom, played by Thomas Edwards in Year 10, convinces Dodgy Dan, played by Daniel Stothard also in Year 10, to ditch the chips in favour of fruit and vegetables.
What they say
"We learnt a lot about how much feed and water the dairy herd need – 45kg a day of food per cow! Also we learnt about how they keep fertilising the cows so that they keep a supply of calves coming for the farm."
"We learnt all about the hens and cows and how often the cows give birth to calves and how they are inseminated. We also learnt that the people who buy the sugar beet and wheat are very stingy with how much they pay the farmers.
"The weather is really important to the farmer but out of his control!"
The difference it makes
French teacher William Clennell, who helps organise the farm visits, says, "The farmer and farm workers are really excellent with the children, explaining everything about the work at the farm and answering the many questions the pupils had.
"The pupils are producing separate projects for maths, geography and science and these will be displayed in classrooms. They have learned a lot about how the farm works in a cycle: feed is grown for the dairy herd, which produces the milk which is then sold to local supermarkets. Thus the farm sustains itself and is constantly in production of feed, cattle and milk. They also learnt how the crops are sold and about the difficulties farmers can face, especially when there is a drought like this year."