NFU's farming lessons reaches 220,000 pupils during British Science Week

Science Farm Live programme has seen 220,000 students able to step into the boots of a farmer (Photo: NFU Education)
Science Farm Live programme has seen 220,000 students able to step into the boots of a farmer (Photo: NFU Education)

More than 220,000 pupils are celebrating British Science Week and National Careers Week with three new live lessons bringing farming directly to the classroom.

The ongoing lessons, which were developed by NFU Education, are being hosted by farmer Fiona Bates and farm vet Dr Claire Whittle during.

Children are delving into British farming to explore key science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects through a real-life farming context.

Key Stage 1 students are seeing first-hand how Fiona looks after her animals, as well as learning how she grows food from scratch to learn about mammals and seasonal changes.

They are also learning about the machinery she uses on her farm and help an agricultural engineer fix her broken tractor.

Guided by Dr Whittle, KS2 students are helping to inspect a cow’s teeth, compare a cow’s digestive system to their own and then go on a ‘poo walk’ to hunt for invertebrates in the fields to learn about the digestive system, nutrition, food chains and habitats.

Students are learning how farmers can help take care of cows’ hooves and how Dr Whittle responds to the different emergencies she’s called out to.

They are also helping to scan cows to see if they are pregnant as part of lessons centred on animal lifecycles, reproduction and inheritance.

NFU vice president, Rachel Hallos said science was engrained in almost every aspect of agriculture, from soil health to crop protection to animal health.

She said: "By bringing farming into classrooms across the country these lessons help bring often challenging subjects to life, allowing children to explore key STEM topics in a real-life context and gain first-hand experience of the world of work.

“As well as offering this virtual way of finding out more about farming, the NFU’s initiative is a vitally important means of linking food production with the next generation.

“I hope this week will inspire students and ignite an interest in a future in science, especially in our fantastic British food and farming sector.”