Royal Cheshire County Show hosts Edge Hill University trainee teachers for Farming and Countryside Education programme

FACE student teachers Royal Cheshire County Show 2016

Farming and Countryside Education (FACE) is a charity registered in England and Wales.

Its association with the Royal Cheshire County Show gives trainee teachers and their tutors the opportunity to learn through theory and practice how to conduct a class visit with students to an agricultural show or farm that works in with the national curriculum covering areas such as food production, environment, sustainability, safety and geography.

Chief Steward of the Royal Cheshire County Show’s Sainsbury Agri-Centre, Stuart Yarwood, said: “The farmers who organise the Agri Centre are proud to promote the food they produce and the countryside they work in with their Show theme ‘Plough to Plate’.

“It is an excellent learning exercise for the thousands who attend the Show.

“Many children in the north west have never visited a real farm and without teachers who are qualified to supervise a farm visit, they never will.

“It is so important that children are given the experience of how and where food is produced and this is such an interesting topic that can be incorporated into their school curriculum in so many different ways.

“By working with FACE, we can help future teachers give this opportunity to educate their pupils in a more exciting way.”

This programme is unique to the Royal Cheshire County Show.

At the 2016 Show in June, we welcomed 29 primary trainee teachers from Edge Hill University and five tutors who took part in the FACE one-day accredited training course.

The topic, Food and Farming Inside and Outside the Classroom: The Dairy Industry, showed student teachers how to effectively design a lesson on the subject of the dairy industry in line with the national curriculum, choose appropriate resources and arrange a safe, enjoyable visit to a dairy farm for students.

While at the Royal Cheshire County Show, trainee teachers had the chance to view live milking in a rural setting, watching some of the finest cattle in Britain take turns inside the judging rings and ask questions directly of experts at the Sainsbury’s Agri-Centre.

Feedback from the trainee teachers included:

  • –  All attendees said they would recommend the course to another trainee teacher
  • –  Twenty-six (from 29) said it had given them a greater appreciation of the farming process while the remaining three said they were already interested in farming
  • –  All attendees said they believed their knowledge of teaching in food, farming and the countryside would make them stand out from other applicants when applying for a job
  • –  All attendees responded with ‘very confident’ or ‘confident’ when asked how they would feel linking food, farming or the countryside to the curriculum

Comments included:

“Totally loved it! Information in abundance.”

“Fantastic day. I have learnt a lot about incorporating this into teaching.”

“Thoroughly enjoyed the day. Good venue, very knowledgeable and approachable trainer.”

Read more about the experience via this blog post by trainee, Rachel Spence who is currently undertaking a BA Primary Science Education at Edge Hill University.

Learn more about FACE at their website.

The next Royal Cheshire County Show is scheduled for June 20-21 in 2017 at Tabley Showground, near Knutsford.