School children are provided with an excellent opportunity to understand the role of farming in Devon and its pivotal role in food production.
While Devon is a rural county there’s still a significant lack of understanding of the importance of farming in children in the large urban centres (over 55% of people live in towns/cities).
We’ve developed a very strong teaching support resource pack to enable teachers and pupils to do work before and following on from the formal Farmwise Devon day.
The innovative approach of Farmwise Devon is that it involves the tenants and farms of the Devon Estate to raise the critical importance of food and farming in the rural economy. It also gives new entrants to the farming industry the opportunity to enthuse children and appreciate farming through the eyes of new farm business leaders.
Children benefit from having an improved understanding of the importance of farming and local food production.
Feedback shows that teachers believe that the event provides a positive learning experience for the children that have attended and positive connections can be made to the curriculum.
The National Curriculum from September 2014 had a major aim that schools should prepare pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. Farmwise attempts to do precisely this through increasing knowledge and understanding; developing skills and fostering positive attitudes towards the farming sector in Devon amongst children and young people who are increasingly disconnected from it.
From an economic sustainability perspective, if a real sense of local economy is to be engrained in regional populations in the UK, then it must begin with experiences for children and young people such as Farmwise Devon.
Children in Devon already possess the capacity to influence the purchasing patterns of their parents and carers (as evidenced through Fair Trade commodities) and will quickly become adult consumers.
Simple messages conveyed in an exciting and engaging manner now through Farmwise will pay real dividends later.
By this we mean that they will not just foster activity and interaction amongst children and young people, but also be appropriately challenging intellectually so that they meet the requirements of National Curriculum subjects such as Science; Geography; Mathematics and English and contribute to the LA’s objectives of improving standards.
For example, there is no reason why preparing for and visiting Farmwise should not support the development of more accurate writing or mental arithmetic! All of this is possible and will be achieved through working closely with Babcock LDP education advisers in collaboration with local teachers and schools.
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