British farming to reach 10 per cent of primary schools in England and Wales through NFU live lessons

Children from more than 10 per cent of primary schools across England and Wales will step into farmers’ shoes as they take part in NFU Education’s live lessons this week.

Developed for British Science Week 2023, which takes place between 10 and 19 March, NFU Education’s ’Science Farm Live’ virtual project will bring British farmers into classrooms nationwide, showcasing how interconnected farming is with key science subjects.

Some 190,000 pupils from 3,434 schools – a record number – are involved in the project, which this year uses British Science Week’s theme of ‘connections’ to focus on the unusual links between farming and other sectors.

Over the course of three virtual lessons, which start today (14 March), NFU next generation forum chair Eveey Hunter looks at what materials a tractor is built from and how her tractors can drive themselves using GPS; pupils will meet NFU next generation forum member Flavian Obiero and his pig dog Rex and learn how he keeps his pigs happy and healthy; and shepherdess Susie Parish, sheep farmer Emma Boyles, wool innovator Kate Drury, and Steve Allnutt from the Sussex Seabed Restoration Project follow the journey of wool from the sheep to the seabed to help restore sea kelp populations.

NFU President Minette Batters said: “Our Science Farm Live programme has been an incredible success, with more than 10 per cent of schools in England and Wales learning about science first hand from farmers this week. The fact that this is the highest number of students and schools who have registered in the programme’s history shows that teachers are increasingly recognising the value of teaching science through the lens of food and farming.

“Science is engrained in almost every aspect of agriculture, and by bringing farming into classrooms across the country, these lessons help bring often stale subjects to life.

“I hope this week will inspire students and ignite an interest in a future in science, especially in our fantastic British food and farming sector.”

NFU next generation forum chair Eveey Hunter said: “It is so important to get in front of students and showcase what amazing things the agricultural sector can do. Many children have never been on a farm before and being able to introduce them to farming and see their excitement as they learn is amazing.

“Not only is it a great way for us to engage with our future consumers from a young age and get them interested in farming, but it can also show young people the opportunities available within the food and farming sector.”

The Science Farm Live programme joins other projects from the NFU Education team, including the popular Farmvention challenge, Farmers for Schools, and STEMterprise.