Easton College Farm is a 280 hectare working commercial mixed farm attached to a land-based college seven miles west of Norwich. It is a teaching farm that carries out livestock rearing (dairy cows, pigs, sheep, poultry and deer) and arable production (wheat, barley, sugar beet and maize). The farm also has a Schools’ Barn with a classroom, study area, resource centre and garden, as well as the grounds of the wider college site.
The farm’s educational provision for schools is of two main types: vocational work-related learning for older secondary school students; and curriculum-linked day visits for primary school groups. In addition, through the Norfolk Farm Education Link, the farm has a range of food and farming resource materials (books, packs, games, CDs, videos, posters and incubator and brooder sets) that can be loaned out to primary schools, secondary schools and nurseries.
A key aim of the educational work at Easton College Farm is to highlight the links between farming, food production and the countryside and to emphasise the contribution that farms make to the countryside. At present there are 300 Year 10 and 11 students from local secondary schools coming to the farm one day per week to do NVQ Level 1 Land-based Industries, and 1800 mainly primary school pupils coming on day visits (see below).
Primary School Day Visits
Vocational Work-related Learning
The morning is spent on a guided tour around the farm, and the afternoon involves follow-up work led by the farm staff or the teachers.
Visits can be organised around a number of different themes:
Farm and countryside walks
Farming and food
Key Stage 1 science (living and growing)
Key Stage 2 habitats (food webs and life cycles).
Much of the time at the farm is spent assisting with practical tasks around the farm. There is also time each day for updating individual portfolios.
For the Agriculture option, activities might include:
mucking out the pigs
moving animals from one place to another
preparing and operating the tractor.
‘Seeing things first-hand like a two day old calf and getting a sense of the size of animals and how animals vary’ is what makes learning at the farm distinctive in the eyes of Moya Myerscough, Head of Schools’ Liaison. For primary school children, the farm visit is a genuine adventure with new sights, smells and experiences. For the vocational students, the chance to learn and take responsibility in a working environment and to be treated like college students can bring significant personal and social benefits.
Easton College Farm
T: 01603 731257