Farmers aim to sow on fallow minds

7th January 2000 at 00:00
IT COULD be the coming of the moo millennium. The National Union of Farmers wants 2000 to herald a new era in children's understanding of the countryside.

This year the union will attempt to persuade 2,000 teachers of the curricular value of the farmyard, through a series of nationwide seminars with farmers.

Research in 1993 revealed that only 12 per cent of primary schools had visited a farm. But the NFU says that, following its campaigns, that is up to 48 per cent.

NFU education consultant Jill Clay, co-ordinator of the Millennium Education Initiative, said: "A recent MORI survey showed gaps in children's bsic knowledge. Half the children surveyed thought margarine comes from cows and nearly a quarter did not know that ham comes from pigs.

"Children who visit a farm or nursery can achieve a host of curriculum targets."

The campaign kicked off this week with the first of 11 national seminars for teachers. There will also be 106 regional seminars.

But Nigel de Gruchy, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, warned that schools would struggle to find time for visits. "It's another example of a bright idea not having been properly thought through," he said.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today