New to Farm Visits?

LEAF Education can help you prepare to host visits by schools to your farm. Here you will find some background information and quick tips, a range of resources and services that LEAF Education offers to get you started, links to online health and safety and educational materials, and read about the industry-recognised CEVAS training course. 

What is a farm visit?

Visits to farms by schoolchildren can take many forms. They can introduce children to farm animals; or to the work of the farmer; or to where their food is grown; or to innovative ways to explore curriculum subjects. They can last an hour, a day or take place once a term. The possibilities are endless!

But what’s the point?  Why should children visit a working farm? Yet again, the reasons are manifold and, as a farmer you must decide what is important to you so that you can share your expertise and enthusiasm. But equally important, you must get to know what is important to the school.

Benefits to you and UK farming

  • sharing your expertise, experience and passion with the next generation
  • connecting with your community and consumers, showing what farmers do on a day to day basis, and promoting local food
  • enjoying the children’s interest and enthusiasm and receiving positive feedback from schools
  • educating teachers and other adults about farming and the countryside
  • diversifying your enterprise and potentially providing another income stream, raising the profile of your farm to the benefit of other enterprises such as a farm shop or camping area
  • encouraging children to think about the many careers in the countryside

And now for some benefits to schools

  • providing a different environment for learning which is stimulating and versatile
  • teaching children in a direct, hands-on way about many important topics including nutrition, food production, sustainability and conservation
  • providing children with unique experiences: holding a chick, running through long grass, sitting in a tractor cab full of the latest technology
  • creating interest and motivation that can be carried back to classroom activities
  • linking to a wide variety of curriculum subjects
  • allowing for physical exercise
  • providing teachers with an opportunity for professional development in gaining farming and countryside knowledge, and experience of outdoor education

How do I start?

CEVAS Training

LEAF Education recommends farmers who want to dip their toe into running farm visits to attend a Countryside Educational Visits Accreditation Scheme (CEVAS) course. This is a two=day course which will give you an excellent grounding in everything you need to know to get started from marketing to schools through to understanding educational jargon.

The course is not intended to transform you into a teacher!  Nonetheless, it will provide you with the confidence to speak to teachers in terms they use on a daily basis (“National curriculum”, “Key Stage 2”, “exam specifications”) and to learn to pitch your level of conversation to the correct age group – 5 year olds won’t understand the term “crop yield” but you might be able to find ways of demonstrating what you mean in simpler words or with props you already have on the farm.On the other hand 14 year olds studying GCSE Business will be attuned to more advanced vocabulary.  Having the chance to reflect on such matters might help you to decide where you want to focus your attention.  Are you happy talking to primary children or would you be more comfortable with A level students?

The course also covers essential matters such as marketing to schools and how to create both useful and essential materials such as information for teachers, risk assessment documents and evaluation methods.

Join 2,500 farmers who are CEVAS trained

We estimate that 500,000 schoolchildren visit a CEVAS trained farmer each year. Will you help us make this 1 Million? For further details of CEVAS and to check the availability of courses:

CEVAS Course
Case study

CEVAS training was invaluable for this farmer as a way to get started with visits from schools.

Read More

LEAF Education Membership

You can receive additional support and advice from LEAF Education by joining as a member.

LEAF Education Regional Consultants

LEAF Education has a team of very experienced consultants throughout England and Wales. Our team members have extensive knowledge of both the farming and education sectors. They can suggest other farmers to talk to for advice and places to visit to find ideas. If you become a LEAF Education Farm member they will be able to offer you a personal visit so that they can see your premises at first hand and suggest ways you might like to proceed with developing a farm visit programme.

Resources - Visit My Farm

LEAF Education has developed many activities, resources and guidance materials along with other partners and these can be found on the Visit My Farm website.

Remember that LEAF Education is always on hand to offer advice and guidance – we have helped innumerable farmers to take the first step that you are now considering – and most of them have never looked back since!