Farming lessons to be taught as pupils return to school

Hundreds of thousands of students have signed up to live farming-related lessons
Hundreds of thousands of students have signed up to live farming-related lessons

More than 200,000 schoolchildren will learn about British food and farming this week as one of the UK's largest virtual classrooms gets underway.

Millions of children in England are going back to school today (8 March) after more than two months studying at home due to lockdown.

And on their first week back, thousands of primary school pupils will be putting their Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills into practice as they tackle farming related topics.

The lessons will range from the lifecycles of farm animals and plants to how future technology can benefit the environment.

The NFU's education team will broadcast the live lessons to celebrate British Science Week, which ends on 14 March.

Welsh sheep farmer Sioned Davies will kick off the programme today by bringing the lambing shed into classrooms.

One lesson will look at how robots and technology can help solve farming problems with engineering experts from Harper Adams University.

Another will Welsh science Museum Techniquest host a farming themed climate science show.

NFU President Minette Batters said bringing farming into the classroom was 'hugely important' as it connected the nation’s future with its heritage.

"Holding virtual live lessons enables children to have that exciting farming experience, even if they aren’t able to physically visit a farm, and they will provide fantastic content for their first week back at school.

“There is a growing focus on climate-friendly, high welfare food production, so it’s fantastic that schools want to provide their pupils with greater understanding about how UK farmers produce the food on their plates.”

Welsh sheep farmer Sioned Davies, who will be delivering today’s lesson on lambing, said she was excited to share farming's opportunities with the next generation.

"It’s even better when you get to open up a whole new world to children who may have never been on a farm, or perhaps even to the countryside," she added.

"By sharing my experience I hope to inspire school children to follow a career in agriculture – after all, life in farming is a constant education.”