Teachers

Thank you for your interest in visiting our farm. We hope that the experience will give your children inspiration, information and first-hand experience of the farming environment.

The visit allows children to see for themselves how a modern livestock farm works, in an enjoyable and safe place.

This pack will help you to prepare a successful programme tailored to suit the needs of your group.

 

What is farming?

Farming is the age-old practice of producing crops and livestock for food, fuel and fibre. The origins of human civilisation are closely linked to the development of farming when primitive hunter gatherers were gradually replaced by farmers producing the first domesticated plants and animals.

Modern agriculture is a highly competitive global industry. The UK produces 70% of the food we eat, the rest coming from other parts of the world. It is the first link in a sophisticated chain to prepare and process our food before we buy it in the shops. What a farmer grows depends on individual circumstances such as location, weather conditions, size of the farm, history of the area and market forces.

Farming has created the landscape that we see. It is the hedges and walls that divide fields that give the landscape its pattern, along with areas of trees and the colours of different crops. Even though they do not necessarily earn any money by activities such as cutting hedges and planting trees, farmers are helping to look after much of the wildlife in the countryside.

Many farmers also now operate broader enterprises to include leisure activities and environmental care. DEFRA provides advice and funding through agri-environmental schemes to encourage biodiversity by creating and maintaining wildlife habitats, to conserve the landscape and to protect archaeological and historic features.

The countryside offers an invaluable teaching resource. The visit can be used to learn about farming and the countryside through the full range of curriculum subjects. We hope that this information pack will give you ideas to inspire your pupils and get the most out of your visit.

 

Learning opportunities

There are many ways in which farming can enrich the curriculum.  Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Key Stage 1

The farm visit can widen the pupils’ first-hand experience in a whole range of visual, tactile and other sensory situations. Within this are the important messages of the life cycle and seasonal change. There is a wealth of opportunity for language development and literacy skills.

Key Stage 2

The visit can stimulate and excite pupils’ curiosity as they begin to apply their knowledge and understanding of ideas. Pupils can consider the farm as a good example of an environment affected by human activity, think about attitudes to farming, the rural environment and the conflicts of interest that arise. They talk about their work and its significance and communicate their ideas using a wide range of language.

Key Stage 3

Many different subject requirements can be satisfied, for example in history, the adaptation of farm buildings over the centuries can offer first-hand evidence of social and technological changes. This readily promotes the skills of handling and assessing. Pupils can investigate and debate a wide range of complex issues and begin to understand the environmental, social and economic implications.

Key Stage 4

Farm visits can be used to deliver examination subjects both academic and vocational. Contact with farmers will help to focus on the real life application of skills within the workplace, engaging pupils with contemporary issues and focusing on their role as users and consumers.

Risk assessment

We advise a pre-visit to our farm, during which you can carry out a risk assessment and become familiar with the site. The Baylham House Farm’s risk assessment is available on this web site within the Schools menu.

Clothing

Ensure staff and pupils wear appropriate outdoor clothing, including sturdy shoes or wellies.

Behaviour

Teachers/group leaders are responsible for the children’s behaviour throughout the visit. The children should understand how to behave on the farm and always follow the Countryside Code.

  • Be safe – plan ahead and follow any signs
  • Leave gates and property as you find them
  • Protect plants and animals and take your litter home
  • Keep dogs under close control
  • Consider other people

Health & safety

At Baylham House we comply with health and safety regulations; however, it is important that all children and supervising adults are aware of the correct health and safety guidelines.

The risk of infection is very small, but the disease caused by an infection could be serious. By following the simple guidelines, which are similar to everyday basic hygiene recommendations, the risk can be easily minimised. The Health & Safety Executive has produced guidelines about avoiding ill health at open farms which includes a supplementary sheet of advice to teachers.

If you have any further questions or would like to book a school visit, please call us on 01473 830264 or send us a message.