This is an account of the visit in February by a Year 1 group from Rookery School to Mount Pleasant School Farm as part of NAEE’s Hugh Kenrick Days bursary scheme.  It’s written by class teacher Mrs W. Ahmedi.

In Geography lessons, Year 1 pupils at Rookery School had been learning about the physical and human features of different localities. It was deemed necessary for children to experience these different environments in order for them to get a better understanding of their physical and human features.  Prior to visiting Mount Pleasant School Farm, children explored their local environment, an inner-city urban area. Following this, they visited Woodgate Valley Country Park, where they had the opportunity to experience the countryside.  Mount Pleasant School Farm was the final location that was visited.  The aim of this visit was for children to consolidate their understanding of, and make observations about, the physical and human features of different localities. In addition, teachers saw the visit as an opportunity for children to see a range of animals, which was to be the next topic that children would be learning about.

On February 11th, 29 children and 4 adults visited the farm and the next day an additional 30 children with 4 adults came. The children had a wonderful time exploring the farm environment, feeding the animals and learning about milking cows and collecting eggs.  It was heart-warming to see the excitement on the children’s faces, most of whom had never visited a farm before.  One child exclaimed: “This is the best trip I have ever had!”  Others wanted to express their gratitude to Nicky, the farm guide and wrote ‘Thank you’ cards for her when they got back to school.  This outcome was not planned but something that the children themselves wanted to do which demonstrated how much they had enjoyed their farm experience.

The planned outcomes for the children, following their visit, included writing a recount of their trip in literacy; talking about the physical and human features of a farm in geography and checking the weight of different eggs in maths.

Following the visit, it has been noted that there has been a change in some children’s attitude towards their environment. During the visit Nicky showed children different ‘bins’ and explained that all rubbish should be sorted and put in the right bins.  One child remembered this and upon returning to school wanted to throw her apple core in the right bin so that it could be given to the pigs at the farm.  As a result, a food bin has been provided for the children to throw away their left-over fruit – something that is enthusiastically used not only in the Year 1 classes that visited the farm but across the whole school.

The visit to Mount Pleasant School Farm was greatly appreciated by both children and adults. It has been a useful tool in enhancing children’s understanding of the world they live in and has provided a fantastic base for children’s learning outcomes.

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Details of NAEE’s Hugh Kenrick Days bursary scheme can be found here.