NFU launches lockdown learning initiative for home education

A new homeschooling project launched this week by the National Farmers’ Union hopes to inspire and educate children about food and where it comes from.

The project, which was developed by the NFU and the team of farmers at EatFarmNow, provides educational activities for children to help build their knowledge of science and technology while also learning about food production.

Children will hear first-hand about how their food gets from farm to fork, with videos from well-known farming faces such as Countryfile’s Adam Henson and TV presenter Jimmy Doherty.

The project will focus on different themes over the next four weeks, starting with an Easter theme for over the Easter holiday and then focusing on horticulture, food and technology in agriculture.

NFU President Minette Batters said: “This is an unprecedented time for all of us. Many parents are now having to come up with a home-schooling plan for the first time and we wanted to provide an educational project that was fun and exciting for both children and parents.

Our online resources are all about hands-on, practical learning, using food and farming to help parents teach science, technology, engineering and maths, which are key topics in the national curriculum.

“A combination of videos, activities and challenges mean these resources have something for everyone.

“And with most children now learning from home, Lockdown Learning brings the world of food and farming, and the joy of being out on in the countryside, to their very own living rooms and kitchens and hopefully starts them on a journey where they recognise the importance of having a vibrant farming sector.”

The project online content and videos from:

  • BBC Countryfile presenter and farmer Adam Henson;
  • TV presenter and farmer Jimmy Doherty;
  • Actor and comedian Charlie Baker;
  • Broadcast journalist Anna Jones;
  • TV presenter and horticulturist James Wong;
  • Sheep farmer Hannah Jackson (known on social media as the Red Shepherdess);
  • Arable farmer Tom Martin (known on social media as Farmer Tom);
  • Agri-tech robotics experts the Small Robot Company;
  • Scientist and STEM ambassador Dr. Jenna Ross;
  • Barleylands farm park Education Manager Karen Watson;
  • Nutritionist Barbara Bray MBE.

EatFarmNow farmer Will Evans said: “While the coronavirus occupies the headlines, our farmers are getting on with the day job, producing high-quality food for us all. I hope that hearing from us first-hand will excite and inspire children, and using subjects like science and technology will help them to learn more about these important areas of the national curriculum via food and farming projects.

“In the coming weeks and months, I encourage all farmers and growers to get involved and post their own videos on social media using the hashtag #LockdownLearning and to join this project which will help reconnect children with the great outdoors.”

The free #LockdownLearning content, which includes farmers’ videos, activities and NFU education resources, is available here.