Key Stage 1 and 2
A visit to Home Farm will be tailored to your topic, but will always give children a stimulating experience of a modern, organic working farm, and a memorable day outside in lovely countryside. Visit content will vary slightly depending on the season, but always includes a walk around this working farm, which allows for close but safe access to cows, sheep and pigs, also farm machinery and some crops, and a walk through Seeley Copse.
The main focus is to make the connection between what we eat and production on the farm. We look at the process of grass to milk, seeing how cows are fed, housed, and milked. Children are offered a taste of fresh (pasteurised) farm milk, and can make butter from cream. Samples of crops and products are displayed and some wheat grains can be ground into flour. A farm visit can be linked to most aspects of the curriculum including geography and environment, PSHE and citizenship, science – life cycles, habitats, care of living things, history, English, maths and art and design.
Key Stage 3 and above
We regularly host visits from secondary Geography students, who can see a working farm at first hand, look at crops and machinery, do a crop rotation exercise, and discuss how weather and climate changes will affect our farming and food supply. Animal husbandry can be seen and the merits of free range versus intensive agriculture argued, with a greater understanding of the realities. The economics of farming and the types and reasons for farm diversification are also discussion points. Mapping activities can be linked to the farm audits required for Environmental Stewardship grants.
At GCSE and A level, students can go into further depth about the different grant schemes, product branding and the tourism and leisure aspects of the farm and the estate as a whole.
For All Farm Visits
It is essential that teachers make a pre-visit if they have not been before, when risk assessment can be carried out and the visit content and potential for follow up work can be discussed. A CD with information about the farm and the practical and safety aspects of the visit is given out at this stage. We take Health and Safety very seriously and can offer schools our own site risk assessment to assist in formulating their own. There are some non-contact areas of the farm, and other places where controlled contact with animals can take place close to hand washing facilities (some cold water only), to reduce the risks from E.coli 0157 and other animal-related microorganisms.