Many children in Britain are confused about food, whether it’s where their food comes from or how to cook and prepare it. Unless things change, we could be facing serious social, economic and health problems in the future as the UK population becomes increasingly disconnected from its food system and how to eat well. But help is at hand through the Countryside Classroom, which supports schools across Britain to teach pupils about food, farming and the natural environment as part of the wider curriculum.
To do this, the organisation provides support in a number of ways, including:
- facilitating access to teaching resources;
- connecting teachers with venues that provide practical outdoor experience;
- enabling schools to form links with local services and networks.
The resources section of the website boasts a huge range of teaching materials from factsheets and short films on food, farming, wildlife and sustainability to 3D templates of model farm animals.
Learning outside the classroom has been found to build children’s confidence and the Countryside Classroom supports this idea by providing lists of places to visit such as farms, museums, gardens, national parks and nature reserves all over Britain. These venues can be searched by age, theme and subject.
As well as places to visit, the website has a section on ‘people to ask’, which connects teachers with individuals and organisations who can enhance their knowledge about food, farming and the natural world. Each of the available resources is categorised by key stage, curriculum subject, theme, form of delivery and region so teachers can find the materials most suitable for their class.
The Countryside Classroom is partnered with organisations such as the Soil Association, the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens, Natural England and the Prince’s Countryside Fund. Find out how you can get involved in becoming a contributor, partner or sponsor here.
Photograph: Matt Davis
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