Welcome to watch while the work goes on

John Clark

Schoolchildren are flocking to a Fife farm to see barley, wheat and oats growing, dip their hands into sacks of grain and potatoes, and learn how bread is made. Praytis Farm Park, near Leven, has a classroom in a converted byre, and there are chairs or a big rug to sit on while watching slides or a film, or listening to a tutor.

Praytis Farm remains a working arable farm which has been in the Gilmour family for nearly 200 years. Three years ago part of the farmstead was converted to a visitor attraction.

The farm park has views of the Forth estuary, a variety of livestock and antique farm machinery, a children's playground, picnic area and a golf range.

Frances Oxley, a part-time learning support teacher at Stirling High School and education consultant, says: "Praytis Farm Park works particularly well with the environmental studies 5-14 curriculum. It starts with Primary 2 and 3 children looking at the variety of living things. For older children there are farming and food issues and the environmental aspects of how we use the land. "They take an investigative approach and pupils produce worksheets which they can take back to school.

"What's unusual is that Praytis has a classroom."

The farm park is a member of the Scottish Environmental Education Forum and has received help and advice from the Scottish Farm and Countryside Educational Trust. Fife Enterprise provided 50 per cent of the funds to develop the educational resources.

The farm park encourages schools to discuss their requirements in advance.

For details of schools services, contact Praytis Farm Park, Kennoway, Fife, tel: 01333 350209

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