Hampshire youngsters gained an insight into farming and food production when two tractors visited their school.
Delighted pupils found two tractors with ploughs had been parked in the playground at St Albans CE Aided Primary School, West Leigh, Havant, when they arrived on Monday July 8.
The five to 11-year-olds later learned about the farming year, commonly grown crops and the foods they produce from agricultural sales representative Philip Prior of Bognor Regis, West Sussex.
Senior teacher Claire Inskip arranged the experience for the children. She said: “At St Albans we believe passionately that children learn best through first-hand experiences. We feel it is important that they have an understanding of where their food comes from and the processes and the people involved.”
Pupils saw and touched samples of cereal grains and pulses and their by-products with Philip Prior. He showed them:– oats for porridge, wheat for flour and bread, oilseed rape for cooking oil, peas for animal feed or ‘mushy peas’ for human consumption, and lastly, barley for beer and barley water cordial.
The children then compared the two tractors, a 66-year-old Ferguson and its modern successor, a Massey Ferguson. They sat in the cab of the modern tractor and were taught about farm safety. There was also a maths challenge, with children asked to calculate the age of each tractor from its date of manufacture. The vintage Ferguson was transported by Claire’s father Bob Marshall, an agricultural engineer from Prinsted, near Southbourne in West Sussex.
The visit was supported with education resources from the NFU and Farming & Countryside Education www.face-online.org.uk , an education initiative backed by the NFU.
Hampshire NFU chairman Julian Gibbons said: “Outdoor learning experiences often prove to be the most memorable and St Albans’ pupils may well recall this tractor day during their adult lives! Wheat is Hampshire’s most commonly grown crop, but I wonder how many young children know it can be made into bread or fed to pigs and poultry, to give us bacon and eggs?”
St Albans CE Aided Primary School is participating in Trailblazer, an award scheme for schools and youth groups that are engaged in outdoor learning and environmental education in Hampshire and west Berkshire.
High resolution images of St Albans CE Aided Primary School pupils with the tractors/food items are available from NFU SE Comms Adviser Isobel Bretherton e:
t: 01730 711956.
Notes To Editors:
NFU South East, Unit 8, Rotherbrook Court, Bedford Road, Petersfield, Hampshire GU32 3QG Telephone: 01730 711950 ISDN: 01730 266023 Http://www.nfuonline.com