A group of trainee teachers from the University of Wales Trinity St David visited Burnspet Nutrition, Kidwelly, on 2 May. It was an opportunity to meet cows, sheep and alpacas, see the gardens which grow veg for the cafe, and explore the possibilities for Foundation Phase teaching. FACE went along to talk about Countryside Classroom and see all the great work Burns in the Community are doing.
We sometimes forget that food comes from the sea, as well as farms. In March, we recruited fisher Mandy Walters to deliver a crab-dressing workshop to primary school pupils at Ocean Lab, near Fishguard. The children also took part in a beach safari, learnt about the tides, studied plankton under the microscope, wrote a poem and dived with dolphins – using virtual reality headsets. The workshop was organized by Pembrokeshire Outdoor Schools as part of the Visit Wales campaign Year of the Sea.
Do you know what grows in your local area, and who gets it from the field or the sea to your plate? FACE has produced a new resource for primary schools to map their local food system, with links to the geography curriculum, and ideas for history, maths, global citizenship and IT. As one teacher said: “There were numerous opportunities for cross curricular learning – literacy, numeracy and science especially – and the pupils were fully engaged throughout. The only difficulty with this topic is that there is SO much potential for exciting learning activities, that it was difficult to fit it all in!”
Download Discovering local food
LEAF Open Farm School Days – a nationwide initiative to get children out onto farms and learning about where their food comes from – will take place throughout June 2018. Farms will be opening their gates and hosting educational visits for children to learn about how their food is grown, where it comes from and to meet the farmers who grow it.
LEAF Open Farm School Days run alongside the annual LEAF Open Farm Sunday and a number of farmers do both! Thanks to the support from our sponsors, it is free of charge for farmers to participate in LEAF Open Farm School Days and LEAF Open Farm Sunday.
Register your farm for Open Farm School days
If you are a school wishing to find a farm to visit, click here.
Primary and secondary teachers came together to explore outdoor activities at a workshop organized by the Pembrokeshire Outdoor Schools Partnership in October. Working with the OPAL Citizen Science project led by the National Museum of Wales, FACE trialled some soil science activities that schools could use to investigate the impacts of food production on the natural environment, and how farmers manage these. This topic is part of the science GCSE syllabus, and we’ll be developing resources to support it.
FACE Cymru has produced two new Enterprise and Employability Challenges for secondary schools, as part of the Welsh Baccalaureate. At GCSE, pupils are invited to design a product that could be sold in a farm shop. At A level, they can design the ultimate food festival – without the trouble of carrying it out. These projects are a great opportunity for farms, food businesses and schools to work together, so why not give it a go? Download them here:
Food festival. FACE will be producing resources to support them so get in touch if you’d like to be involved.
Tenby Church in Wales Primary School had visits from two farmers last term. Walter Simon (right) explained how he grows potatoes, and Roger Lewis talked about dairy farming. The children had prepared a set of questions for them, and held a discussion about local and global food.
This school and others including Narberth Primary and the secondary school Ysgol Dewi Sant were taking part in a project run by FACE and Planed. The idea is to connect schools with farmers and food businesses in Pembrokeshire with the aims of enriching the curriculum, engaging young people in an enquiry into their local food system, and raising awareness of food production and businesses in the county.
Would your school like to take part? Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Welsh language version of the popular pack Why Farming Matters was launched at Builth Wells Primary School on 24 November 2016 by Kirsty Williams AM, with three farmers and NFU officials present to lead a morning of classroom activities.
The pack, which contains a range of activities suitable for Key Stage 2 pupils, is available in both languages at http://www.whyfarmingmatters.co.uk/why-farming-matters.
On 2 October 2015, a new website was launched to put food, farming and the environment on the curriculum. The NFU, community gardeners, EggSeeds, the RSPB, Communities First and others came together at Ysgol Coed y Gof, Cardiff, for a morning of activities including making butter, milking a (wooden) cow, making seed bombs, identifying birds and sowing winter salads.
Countryside Classroom is a website for teachers which brings together for the first time resources on food, farming and countryside, including classroom materials, case studies and access to experts, supported by inspiring blog features.
Foundation phase pupils in Cardiff, Caerphilly and Newport have been learning about the chicken lifecycle, chick embryo development and the role of eggs in a healthy diet by incubating their own eggs. After being taught how each group candled their own eggs and have had great success with hatching. They are now learning to care for the chicks as they grow.
The project was organized by FACE members Free Range Learning. They still have spaces for hatching projects in the summer term for schools, groups and care homes in the Cardiff and Vale area – more information here.