Schools urged to take advantage of grants to get children out on farms thanks to launch of Dorchester Agricultural Society Education Fund

Teachers from across the county are being invited to attend the official launch of the Dorchester Agricultural Society 1840 Education Fund later this month.

The launch will take place at Buckland Newton primary school on 22 November and will provide details of grants available for both capital projects and individual events.

Teachers will have the opportunity to speak to a number of “host” farmers and hear about the benefits of getting children out on the county’s farms.

The 1840 Education Fund is focusing on encouraging among youngsters a better understanding of farming, horticulture, rural business and the countryside in Dorset.

Nicky Ralph, head teacher at Buckland Newton and Dorset County Show committee member, said funding was available for travel costs – one of the key issues that prevented schools visiting farms.

Mrs Ralph said a visit to a working farm provided children with new experiences and there was a natural link between a wide range of school subjects, particularly the sciences, geography, maths, history and citizenship.

“As a farmer’s daughter and a head teacher there are so many learning opportunities from a farm visit. We hope we will get a lot of interest from schools on the day and that they will follow up my making applications to the Society.”

Paul Burrows, Dorset County Council outdoor education adviser, who is speaking at the event, said: “High quality learning outside the classroom can provide educational and social benefits that can extend well beyond the trip. Well planned, delivered and reviewed trips have been proven to deepen learning, improve understanding and develop confidence among learners and improve relationships between pupils and teachers.

“As if that isn’t good enough, Ofsted want to see more quality learning outside the classroom too,” he added.

Rebecca Cox
17th Nov 2016 13:19:00

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