Fun on the farm for Reception pupils at Ashington school

A Northumberland farm has opened its doors for educational visits since the pandemic began more than a year ago.

Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 8:00 am
Vicky Dewar, deputy director of Early Years, with pupils from Bishop’s Primary School - William Leech Campus, and David Thompson, Farmer at Broxfield Farm.

Reception pupils from Bishop’s Primary School, in Ashington, were among the first to visit Broxfield Farm, a working cattle and wheat farm based near Alnwick in Northumberland.

Their visit was part of a ‘Farm Discovery’ programme organised through national education charity, The Country Trust.

The visits are designed to help children from urban areas to gain access to the countryside and learn more about the important role that agriculture plays in society’s food supply chain.

Over the course of two days, pupils from Bishop’s Primary School’s Josephine Butler and William Leech Campuses descended on Broxfield Farm, where David Thompson and his family have tended the land for more than 200 years.

The pupils, aged four and five, spent the days learning about food and farming and the connection between the two.

They enjoyed a ride through the fields on a purpose-built passenger trailer, tried their hand at feeding some of the Aberdeen Angus suckler cows, milled their own flour from grains of wheat and enjoyed a nature trail through the ‘enchanted forest’.

“Due to Covid restrictions, our youngest learners have missed out on so much,” said Vicky Dewar, Deputy Director of Early Years at Bishop’s Primary School.

“Under normal circumstances, our early years curriculum at Bishop’s Primary is packed full with day trips and experiences for the children to enjoy as part of their learning, so it was wonderful to be able to finally get back to some kind of ‘normal’ and take our Reception pupils out on their first ever educational visit to the farm.

“For some of our children, this visit was their first experience of the countryside.

"Getting to see farm animals up close and just enjoy all of the open space is so important for their personal development and wellbeing, especially after so long in lockdown.

"We’re incredibly grateful to Farmer David for having us and to The Country Trust for making it possible.”

David said: “It’s been great to welcome school trips back to the farm again.

“I was so impressed with the pupils from Bishop’s Primary School. For being so young, they were so engaged and attentive and asked some great questions.”