Farm visits and the curriculum

How visiting a farm can provide stimulus and materials for many topics across a range of curriculum subjects.


English

Speaking and listening

Asking farmers and other countryside workers questions

Reporting back on a farm visit

Predicting what will be seen on a visit

Describing feelings, observations, tastes and sounds

Reading

Reading farm signs

Spotting writing around the farm, eg on feed sacks, records, vehicles

Writing

Writing instructions for visitors to the farm

Making signs (warning information)

Writing stories, poems and accounts of a farm visit

Writing a letter to a farmer

Planning an invitation to a farm-shop open day

Creating a farming glossary

Writing a newspaper article

 

Maths

Number

Counting what is found on the farm, e.g. trees, sheep, cows etc (shepherds often count
in twos)

Creating number problems requiring counting

Calculating how much feed the farmer needs to buy or make; fertiliser rates

Developing comparative vocabulary eg bigger than, heavier than

Recognising patterns eg tiles on a roof, planting arrangements in a vegetable garden, plough
lines

Finding numbers around the farm (ear tags, machinery, maps with field sizes shown)

Weighing ,or watching animals being weighed, and recording weights

Finding out how much milk particular cows produce and comparing differences between them

Finding out about farm payments

Finding out how long it will take to plough fields of different sizes

Seeing how farm records are kept on computer

Working out the age of a tree

Comparing organic and non-organic prices in shops and supermarkets

Shape, space and measures

Spotting shapes around the farm: circles (tyres), triangles (roof apexes)

Watching a tractor working - considering the angles it turns

Measuring tree circumferences

Measuring distances and calculating areas, eg distance from the milking parlour to the grain dryer; the area of the water trough

Weighing out correct amount of feed for animals

 

Science

Going on a sensory trail around the farm - what can you hear, smell, see, touch

Friction: investigating tyres on farm vehicles - why are they different, what is their
purpose?

Comparing plant growth in different areas of the farm, e.g. woodland, arable field

Going on a materials trail - artificial, natural and their different applications

Finding living and non-living things

Finding out how different animals move, grow, use their senses and reproduce

Learning about crop growth and usage

Investigating forces with farm machinery

Considering health and safety on a farm

Recording milk yields over time - what causes the differences?

Investigating different soils

 

Design and technology

Investigating wheels, axles, levers etc on farm machinery

Watching vehicles working and thinking about moving parts

Considering differences in design of machines intended for different uses, e.g. narrow
tyres on sprayers

Considering how new machines have made operations easier and made more operations possible

Designing and building gates, fencing, animal accommodation and crop-storage facilities

Food technology - turning milk into butter, wheat into flour

History

Investigating farming methods from the past

Looking at old equipment, tools and machinery

Considering what is was like to live and work on a farm in the past

Digging for Victory; land girls

Using local area to investigate farming

 

Geography

Measuring rainfall and relating it to water supply

Making and following maps

Comparing urban and rural landscapes, populations, employment structures

Recording and classifying land use and how it has changed

Crop rotations

The farming year

Environmental change and farming - urban growth, conservation, recreation

Marketing - who buys and where is produce sold?

 

Art

Recording observations and feelings

Finding out about rural crafts

Using natural materials to create sculptures

Making natural dyes

Studying the work of local artists

Looking at the work of famous artists and how they have interpreted the countryside

Exploring natural patterns and textures

 

Music

Making music using natural materials

Using music to represent aspects of the farm, eg tractor working, hens clucking, a walk through the woods

Finding out about folk songs

Considering the meaning behind harvest hymns

 

Citizenship

Asking questions and taking part

Finding out about other people in society

Caring for animals and the environment

Rules and laws

Respect for property

Media issues

Human and animal rights