School Trips @ Farms For City Children
Children’s author Michael Morpurgo and his wife Clare founded Farms for City Children at Nethercott House in Devon in 1976. The charity offers urban children from all over the country a unique opportunity to live and work together for a week at a time on a real farm in the heart of the countryside. It is an intense, ‘learning through doing’ experience of a different life – for children who may not know where their food comes from and have limited opportunities to explore the outside world.
We now have three working farms, where we welcome around 3,000 children and 400 teachers a year.
Each of the farms are staffed by a combination of Farm School Manager or School Manager with a background in teaching and Farm Managers with responsibility for the farm work and outdoor environment. There are also cooks, housekeepers and domestic staff who provide a welcoming and caring atmosphere at each centre, and farm workers employed to work directly with the children outside.
This farm is on a bend of the River Severn in Gloucestershire. The house, is a Grade II* listed manor house with an intact, square-shaped moat.
This farm is in the Countryside Stewardship Scheme and is farmed directly by the
charity using low impact, traditional methods. There are a total of 140 acres, 80 of which are grazed by our neighbouring farmers. The charity farms 60 acres.
Wick Court is a small-scale traditional livestock farm, with sheep, beef cattle, pigs and poultry. Wick Court also has a busy stable yard, where the children help care for ponies and horses. To illustrate the contrast in farming styles, the children also work at a neighbouring commercial dairy farm with father and son Tim and David Merrett.
Why book Farms For City Children for Residential School Trips and Educational Visits?
Living and working on the farm for a week fosters children’s independence, confidence, self-esteem, resilience and collaborative skills, whilst encouraging the importance of physical activity and a healthy lifestyle. Children become farmers for a week, working with the animals and the land, developing their understanding of where our food comes from. The breadth and rich variety of activities and experiences available during the week’s residential visit to one of our farms covers many aspects of the National Curriculum, for example links can be made with PSHE, Science, DT (particularly Cooking and Nutrition), and PE. Other subjects, activity dependent, are English, Mathematics, Geography, History and Art and Design (National Curriculum links refer to Key Stage Two). Our Education Officer can discuss further about curricular links and pre or post visit support.
What activities are available during group visits?
In the course of a highly structured day, the children are divided into three work groups.
Our staff and the farmers provide activities that involve the children and their teachers actively in the day-to-day running of the farms.
The children are encouraged to take full responsibility for the work they do, caring for the animals and the land. The experience stretches them physically, emotionally and intellectually in ways not possible in the classroom, building their confidence and nurturing a real sense of achievement.
What size groups do you cater for?
Up to 36 children (minimum charge for 34 children). Teachers go free (minimum of four adults but can accommodate up to five).
Do you offer on-site classroom facilities?
As well as living space, each farm has a play area as well as games for children to use outside for organized activities. There is also a library and classroom for schools to use at their discretion to expand the experience we offer them. Access to a landline and Wi-Fi is available for visiting adults.
Is there first aid on site?
Senior staff at the farm all hold 3 day First Aid qualifications and most other staff hold 1 day emergency First Aid qualifications. We encourage schools to ensure that all adults accompanying the children are First Aid trained as our staff are not present overnight.
Do you offer access for visitors with disabilities?
We encourage children of all abilities to visit the farm and regularly host groups with all sorts of physical and mental abilities. However, our heritage buildings and countryside setting can pose a challenge for some and it's important that you discuss all such issues with us ahead of your visit.
Do you cater for visitors with Special Educational Needs (SEN)?
We encourage all children to visit the farm and regularly host children with a variety of special educational needs, disabilities, health conditions and allergies. However, our heritage buildings and countryside setting can pose a challenge for some and it's important that you discuss all such issues with us ahead of your visit.
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Need more inspiration?
We are bursting with ideas on places that deliver first class teaching both outside the classroom and as in-school workshops. Below are a few similar suggestions to Farms For City Children , or head to our tailor-made trip form and let us know how we can help you!