Preparing for your visitJump to resources
In addition to preparing your farm, and undertaking any training, good planning and adminstration will help everything run smoothly.
Working with the school
- When a school contacts you about a visit, get back to them as soon as you can and finalise a date. Send a booking form outlining what is available, and any charges, then confirm with a timetable so teachers know what to expect.
- Most schools will want to send a whole class of 25 or 30 children so agree with the school how they will be divided up for different activities and how many helpers will be needed.
- It is good practice to invite the teacher in charge of the visit, and their helpers, to a pre-visit. You can show them where everything is, go through your risk assessment and run through what will happen on the day, including bad weather arrangements.
- Make sure schools are briefed with any information the children will need, and items to bring with them such as wellies, warm clothes, gloves and waterproofs, or sunhats and sunscreen according to the season.
- Provide teachers with an information pack about your farm, your educational facilities and the activities you can provide. This could include a map and a few facts and figures that the teacher can use in advance. See Preparing an education pack for ideas.
- Be clear about who is doing what on the day, and that the class teachers and helpers also know what to expect throughout their visit.
- Make sure you have considered all the health and safety implications of inviting school children onto your farm. Child safety in agriculture, Common zoonoses in agriculture, and Preventing or controlling ill health from animal contact at vistor attractions, provide up-to-date guidance.
- Carry out the necessary risk assessments. If you are new to this then What is risk assessment, All about risk assessment, and Sample risk assessment will help you through the process. Don't forget to check your first-aid kit is up to date.
- Check your facilities, equipment, signs etc in time to make any necessary changes, and again the day before the visit. Signage for farms hosting visits gives ideas to encourage hand washing.
- Prepare any educational materials you will need – Designing effective worksheets may prove useful– and don't forget equipment such as clipboards and pencils.
- If you need some tips on communication with children, these resources should help: Communication skills, Engaging and talking to children, Tips on communicating with children.
- Prepare a timetable for the day, including a checklist of everything you need to get ready.