Farming fits in STEM learning, teacher survey shows

The NFU has worked with 800 teachers across the country to implement the food and farming resources
The NFU has worked with 800 teachers across the country to implement the food and farming resources

A survey has shown that over 90% of teachers who used resources from the NFU think food and farming is a great fit for teaching STEM subjects.

The free Farming STEMterprise resources take Key Stage 2 children - aged 7-11 - through every step of setting up a farm shop business.

Pupils look at growing their own ingredients and using market research to test ideas, to designing responsible packaging and calculating expected profit.

Since its launch a year ago the NFU Education team has worked with nearly 800 teachers across the country.

After implementing the resources within their lessons, 97% of teachers surveyed said they associated farming with teaching Science, 95% said it had a place within Design and Technology and 91% said the same for Maths.

Prior to using these resources, only 23% of teachers had considered farming to be relevant to their curriculum teaching.

In its manifesto, the NFU highlights the effectiveness of teaching STEM subjects through the lens of food and farming – building children’s understanding of food and the environment and delving into the science behind production.

NFU President Minette Batters said increasing young people’s understanding of food provenance and production is becoming 'ever more important'.

“First and foremost, the national curriculum needs to be socially relevant and useful to children.

“Embedding food and farming within STEM learning can help the next generation navigate their way through the future dietary, environmental and career decisions that will inevitably come their way,” she explained.

“By putting children in touch with farming, they can learn how to protect the environment and encourage biodiversity, understand the benefits of a healthy, balanced diet and what this looks like, and appreciate British farming’s role.

“These resources also offer huge benefits to teachers. Not only are they free, but they are specifically designed to reduce workload and do not require any prior knowledge on the subjects within it.”

The NFU surveyed 100 teachers who have implemented Farming STEMterprise resources in their teaching.