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.
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.
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.
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
CEVAS training was invaluable for this farmer as a way to get started with visits from schools.Read More
You can receive additional support and advice from LEAF Education by joining as a member.
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.
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!