Farming celebrities back ‘Lockdown Learning’ project for home-schooling children
High-profile East Anglian farmers have backed a new education project to help house-bound children reconnect with the countryside while learning from home during the lockdown.
#LockdownLearning is a free online resource developed by the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) and the team of farmers at EatFarmNow.
It aims to help parents by providing educational farming activities for children while schools are closed during the coronavirus crisis, helping to build their knowledge of science and technology while finding out about food from farm to fork.
Suffolk farmer and TV personality Jimmy Doherty, the education team at Barleylands Farm Park in Essex and Cambridgeshire farmer Tom Martin, well-known on social media as Farmer Tom, are among those contributing online vlogs and learning resources.
Other supporters and contributors include BBC Countryfile presenter and farmer Adam Henson, TV presenter and horticulturist James Wong, and agritech robotics experts the Small Robot Company.
NFU East Anglia regional director Rachel Carrington said: “Many parents are having to devise a home-schooling plan for the first time, and we wanted to help by offering an educational project that was fun and exciting for both children and parents.
“Our #LockdownLearning initiative is a way of bringing the outdoors indoors, with food and farming videos, activities and challenges that parents can use to help teach science, technology, engineering and maths.”
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Over the next four weeks the project will look at different themes, starting with Easter, and then focusing on horticulture, food and technology in agriculture. The resources, found at www.eatfarmnow.com, have been devised by the NFU’s education team of former teachers, as well as activities from other educational farming programmes.
Mr Doherty, owner of Jimmy’s Farm near Ipswich, said: “This is a great educational resource aimed at primary school children. It’s full of wonderful videos, made by farmers and food producers, and is absolutely chock-a-block with fun facts.”
Karen Watson, head of education at Barleylands, added: “At this time of year we would normally be welcoming hundreds of KS1 and KS2 children to the farm park to learn all about farming and where their food comes from in our themed school days. We are so pleased that this initiative will bring this to children in a different way.
“Food and farming links to all areas of the curriculum and with contributions from across the industry this will be a brilliant way to bring farm education into homes across East Anglia and, we hope, also encourage children to get cooking.”
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