Following the NFU's live lessons, which ran throughout British Science Week 2021, schools have highlighted how the NFU's Science Farm Live programme is a fun and effective way to teach STEM subjects. Read more from three teachers who were involved.
Karen Payne, teacher at St Margaret’s Junior School
We are very excited at St Margaret’s to participate in NFU Education’s Science Farm Live as part of British Science week. Being able to bring the farming world into our classrooms will not only engage and stimulate our pupils’ scientific interest but provide them with an exciting welcome back to school after lockdown.
We are unable to offer educational visits in the current climate, but the NFU’s Science Farm Live programme allows us the interactive experience of the farming world coming into the classroom – and all without cost to the school!
As a school, we believe it is incredibly important that children have the opportunity to learn about a wide variety of careers, engage directly with different professions and be inspired by people who are enthusiastic about their work. Science Farm Live allows us to fulfil this commitment to our pupils.
We have found the pre-session supporting resources incredibly useful. As teachers, we have been able to use them to plan ahead and ensure pupils get the most out of these sessions. The teacher guide on generating higher-order questions was particularly useful and something we will use not just at this session but with other visitors who come to school.
The Farming Live resources have inspired our Year 6 curriculum, and we intend to build upon the live lessons in subsequent classroom learning. For example, after the Future Farming Robots live lesson pupils will have the opportunity to design farm machinery during computing lessons.
We are sure that the children will have a fantastic learning experience during science week by participating in Science Farm Live. Thank you to everyone involved in its creation. We can’t wait!
Haydn Bettles, food education co-ordinator at Armitage CE Primary School
I have previously used NFU teaching resources and found the range of cross-curricular activities that fit into niche areas of study to be a really positive experience for children. The range of people taking the lessons are exceptional, and with such a great line up I’m sure the pupils will get a lot out of it.
The practical experience available is one of a kind, but I think the main thing is the wide range of topics available, like the live lambing that I know many children may not have experienced before. The link between food and farming is also really important for children to understand from first-hand accounts.
I’m particularly looking forward to Navaratnam’s vet school as kids need to know that these sorts of careers are accessible to them no matter their background. The live lessons open up a world of food and farming as a viable option for children to get involved, and I’m looking forward to seeing the pupils’ reactions.
Kevin Orchard, teacher at Kates Hill Primary School
Science week is normally a very big deal in our school as not many of our children have prior exposure to the sort of things it covers. It’s important that we bring our teaching to life for the pupils and bring them new and different experiences, whether it’s a trip to a museum or zoo or bringing an expert into the classroom to give the pupils first-hand knowledge.
Of course, with COVID-19 everything has changed and that’s why the NFU’s live lessons are a really great idea. We are still able to give the students this unique opportunity of first-hand experiences from the comfort of the classroom.
Additionally, farming, lambs being born and chicks hatching is something our kids have never seen before and it really helps open up an area of study to them and experience a new world through real-life accounts.