The charity Leaf is launching an annual two-week celebration of farming and food in schools in a bid to inspire youngsters to learn about agriculture, food production and the natural environment.
Developed by Leaf Education and Brockhill Park Performing Arts College in Kent, Farming Fortnight is expected to see hundreds of primary and secondary schools take part across the UK.
The organisers hope the event, which runs this year from 3-14 June, will “shine a light on farming, what it delivers and the many and varied career opportunities available in the sector”.
The launch follows research involving 1,200 young people aged 12 to 18 showing that more than 35% wanted to find out more about where their food comes from and 32% expressed an interest in working in agriculture.
“We want to enable every child to leave school with experience, knowledge and understanding of food, farming and the natural environment,” said Carl Edwards, Leaf’s director of education and public engagement.
“If we are to see improvements in children’s health, wellbeing and preparedness for adult life, and long-term solutions to global challenges of sustainability and food security, then education has to be at the centre,” he added.
Each day of the campaign will have its own theme and social media hashtag – ranging from arable (#TractorTuesday) and sheep (#WoollyWednesday) to fruit and veg (#TastyTuesday) and careers (#FutureFarming).
Leaf will be supplying national curriculum-linked resources for schools to download, with topic sheets, lesson plans, case-studies and videos to help teachers deliver lessons.
Donna Ashlee, assistant principal at Brockhill Park Performing Arts College, a school with its own working farm, added: “Having a dedicated two-week long focus on farming has real potential to inspire young minds, create opportunities and bring about real change to how future generations think about and engage in farming.”
- Works to inspire future generations about farming, food and the countryside.
- Builds on the work of Face (Farming and Countryside Education) following its merger with Leaf in 2017.
- Manages industry and educational initiatives, including Access to Farms, CEVAS (Countryside Educational Visits Accreditation Scheme), Countryside Classroom, Chef on the Farm and Leaf Open Farm School Days.
- Provides teachers with curriculum-focused training, tools and resources.
- Helps farmers navigate the world of education and deliver on-farm and in-classroom activities.