#LockdownLearning education initiative brings the great outdoors indoors

LockdownLearning illustration

A new education project launches today (Tuesday 7 April) to help children learning at home find out all about food and farming.

#LockdownLearning is a free online resource developed by the NFU and the team of farmers at EatFarmNow. It provides exciting educational farming activities for children while they are away from school, helping to build their knowledge of science and technology alongside finding out about food from farm to fork.

Suffolk farmer and television personality Jimmy Doherty, the education team at Barleylands Farm Park in Essex and Cambridgeshire farmer Tom Martin are among those providing support and resources.

NFU East Anglia Regional Director Rachel Carrington said: “Many parents are having to devise a home-schooling plan for the first time, and we wanted to help by offering an educational project that was fun and exciting for both children and parents.

“Our #LockdownLearning initiative is a way of bringing the outdoors indoors, with food and farming videos, activities and challenges that parents can use to help teach science, technology, engineering and maths.”

Over the next four weeks the project will look at different themes, starting with Easter, and then focusing on horticulture, food and technology in agriculture. The resources, found at www.eatfarmnow.com, have been devised by the NFU’s education team of former teachers, as well as activities from other educational farming programmes.

Jimmy Doherty said: “This is a great educational resource aimed at primary school children. It’s full of wonderful videos, made by farmers and food producers, and is absolutely chock-a-block with fun facts.”

Karen Watson, Head of Education at Barleylands, said: “At this time of year we would normally be welcoming hundreds of KS1 and 2 children to the farm park to learn all about farming and where their food comes from in our themed school days. We are so pleased that this initiative will bring this to children in a different way.

“Food and farming links to all areas of the curriculum and with contributions from across the industry this will be a brilliant way to bring farm education into homes across East Anglia and, we hope, also encourage children to get cooking.”

EatFarmNow farmer Will Evans said: “While coronavirus occupies the headlines, our farmers are getting on with the day job, producing high quality food for us all. I hope that hearing from us first-hand will excite and inspire children and using subjects like science and technology will help them to learn more about these important areas of the national curriculum via food and farming projects.

“I encourage all farmers and growers to get involved and post their own videos on social media using the #LockdownLearning hashtag and to join this project which will help reconnect children with the great outdoors.”