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Down on the Farm – a Different Approach to Learning!

Published Wednesday, 18th June 2014 in Study at SRUC news

Jemma Black and Magali Tuke Rural Connect Farming Education Pack

A West Lothian project has joined forces with Broxburn Primary School to produce a new Farming in West Lothian education pack.

Rural Connect, based at SRUC Oatridge, and teacher Magali Tuke, developed the materials to get local pupils thinking about what is grown and produced on the land around them.

Jemma Black, the project worker responsible for the pack, believes that all children should learn about where their food comes from.

She says: “The traceability of food has become a huge issue in the last few years, and it is so important that learning about where food comes from starts at a young age. Children are being encouraged to make healthy and responsible food choices throughout their life, and the first step is knowing where your food is produced.”

West Lothian is predominantly rural, and a large area of the county is used for agriculture; however with transport links connecting up the urban towns and villages, many people don’t see the farming that takes place in the area. The Rural Connect project is trying to change this – starting with the children!

The pack was launched at a recent teachers’ CPD session and is now being rolled out to all primary and special schools in West Lothian. It is hoped that the materials will demonstrate how to integrate farming into all curriculum areas and show the breadth of skills and knowledge needed to farm in modern times; from chemistry for soils and biology for livestock to maths and business and much more.

The pack highlights key aspects of farming in West Lothian along with resources to use as part of lessons. There are examples of livestock ear tags to get pupils thinking about how we trace our food, while packaging from dairy products aids discussions about how we find out more about what we are buying. Information from the Royal Highland Educational Trust (RHET) will help teachers plan farm visits to reinforce the learning of the pupils, and get hands on experience of a working farm.

For more information, or a photograph of Jemma and Magali, please contact Jemma at jemma.black@sruc.ac.uk

Photo caption: Jemma Black (left) and Magali Tuke (right) at the launch of the Farming Education Pack.

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