An ambitious plan for Countryside Classroom

Today, 28th September sees the launch of Countryside Classroom. It is the largest ever partnership of organisations committed to helping children learn about food, farming and the natural environment, and is led by FACE (Farming and Countryside Education). It is the vision of Countryside Classroom that by making it easier for schools and teachers across the UK to access resources, places to visit and people to ask, more will embrace food, farming and the natural environment as essential components of a broad and balanced curriculum. As a result of this, every child will have the opportunity to learn about and experience these topics in diverse ways that are increasingly supported by experiences outside the classroom.

To support that ambitious aim today Countryside Classroom are launching Countryside Passports up and down the country at school events. From Castle Cary to Accrington hundreds of pupils will be the first in the UK to get their hands on their passport.

The booklet contains 18 challenges that will give children first-hand experience of growing their own produce, observing and caring for wildlife and tasting their own recipes.

We asked some leading farm, food and natural environment experts including Raymond Blanc and Adam Henson to share their dream for what all children should be able to learn, experience or taste by the time they leave school.

Raymond Blanc said: “I really want children to really understand food, love food, for food to be part of their life because it is so enriching. Actually food connects with absolutely everything; to know how it’s grown, to know about the soil, to know about the magic of growing food, to know about connecting food with love, with family, with eating, with good health, with joy, with celebration. That’s what I really want.”

Adam Henson said: “Learning about farming is essential for children. It helps them build a greater understanding of the vital role farmers play in producing good quality food and managing our valuable countryside in a sustainable way.”

Dan Corlett, CEO of FACE said today: “We have a big vision for Countryside Classroom – we want it to become the trusted place that teachers and schools go to access all they need relating to food, farming and the natural environment. We collectively want to play our part in educating children and supporting schools to share interactive, up to date and quality resources”. He continued: “Today is just the start – we want to hear from partners, charities or local experts who want to join Countryside Classroom too.”

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