In pictures: NFU turns inner city school into 'farm for a day'

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Ronald Ross Primary School in South London was announced as the NFU's inaugural Farmvention champion for eight-year-old pupil Afeefa Haroon’s winning design for a 'tractor of the future'.

The prize? As the summer 2019 term drew to a close, the NFU turned the school into a farm for the day. Here's how it happened...

Thursday 18 July 2019

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4pm The school closes and set up begins! The NFU's Discovery Barn is put into position and everything inside is unwrapped and made ready to use.

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4.10pm Bunting is put up in the school's main hall, straw bales are arranged for children to sit on and the Ronald Ross Farm banner is put on the ‘farm’ gate.

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4.30pm  Alpacas arrive and everyone works together to set up a pen in the playground, ready for more animals to arrive the following day.

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6pm The #BackBritishFarming branded New Holland tractor drives through the streets of London on route to the school.  

Friday 19 July 2019

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7am  Final set up begins. Goats, chickens, ducks and sheep arrive.

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7.30am  British seasonal fruit and vegetables are laid out ready for children to make food flags.

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9am  Children and parents arrive. Farmvention winner Afeefa Haroon gives NFU President Minette Batters and the School Council a tour of the farm. Children gather in the school hall and headteacher Abby Brady and Mrs Batters introduce the activities planned for the day.

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9.40am Afeefa cuts the ribbon for the official opening of Ronald Ross Farm, and activities commence.

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Outdoor farm activities

Children visit the Discovery Barn and animal pens to get hands-on with food and farming. In the dressing up area, pupils try on costumes of different professions within agriculture. Each pupil gets a Polaroid picture of themselves to take home.

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Food flags

Children use British seasonal fruit and yoghurt to make food flags.

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Bug hotels

Pupils make bug hotels while learning how farmers look after wildlife.  

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Chicks hatch in an incubator before the children’s eyes.

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The children find out about ruminant animals.

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Farming of the future

Pupils learn more about high tech agriculture and test out some of the latest equipment.

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Pupils plant salad leaves and learn how to look after them until they’re ready to eat.

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Pizza making

Pupils make pizza flags and learn more about where their food comes from.

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3pm  School's out and the clear up begins, but not before the head and deputy headteacher have tried out the tractor for size.

More about the NFU's Farmvention competition

Farmvention harnesses and develops primary school pupils' problem-solving abilities by asking them to come up with ideas to solve real-life farming challenges using Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills.

The competition is part of the NFU's education work, reconnecting children with the countryside and rural life, developing their understanding of agriculture and providing them with the information they need to maintain a healthy, balanced diet in the future.

The competition helps teach primary school children about where their food comes from and the day-to-day challenges faced by farmers and growers. In the first year of the competition, nine winners were chosen from more than 1,000 entries showcasing designs for either a tractor of the future, a healthy British snack product, or an environment for laying hens.

For the 2019 Farmvention competition, children can choose to:

This year's competition opens for entries on 9 September 2019, and closes on 23 December 2019.

Find out how to sign up here.

Read more:

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