Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 6°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Farming event which feeds children’s minds

11:00 07 June 2014

Priti Patel, MP for Witham, visits Essex Schools Food and Farming Day with one of her constituency schools, Powers Hall Academy in Witham, accompanied by Guy Smith, vice-president of the National Farmers

Priti Patel, MP for Witham, visits Essex Schools Food and Farming Day with one of her constituency schools, Powers Hall Academy in Witham, accompanied by Guy Smith, vice-president of the National Farmers' Union and St Osyth farmer (back, tan jacket).

Archant

Around 3,000 primary schoolchildren got hands-on experience of farming and the countryside at an event this week.

shares

Essex Schools Food and Farming Day, hosted by Writtle College in Chelmsford, took place on Thursday. The interactive event - now in its seventh year - is organised by Essex Agricultural Society in partnership with the college and Essex County Council.

Since the first event in 2008, more than 18,000 children have visited the college to learn where their food comes from, and more than 500 children are on the waiting list this year.

Dr Stephen Waite, Writtle College principal, said the event was “a fantastic showcase” of the role of farming in our daily lives and the importance of the countryside.

“Writtle College is very proud to host the event and it’s been wonderful to see the thousands of children get involved and engage with the exhibits here – and to hear the laughter and excitement at the different zones,” he said.

Essex MP Priti Patel, who was among the VIPs who attended the event, visited the zones with a school in her constituency, Powers Hall Academy, Witham.

“This is a truly magical event for children from across the county to attend and learn about food and farming,” she said.

“The day provides a real insight into the production of food as well as the important role that farming and agriculture have on the countryside and our environment. I would like to thank everyone involved in the organisation of this very valuable educational day and I urge as many schools as possible to sign up for the day again in 2015.”

Both teachers and pupils at the event were enthusiastic about the displays and experiences at the event.

Rebecca Butler-Smith, teacher at Powers Hall Academy, Witham, said: “It’s been brilliant. The children especially enjoyed the food zone, as they found out where our food comes from, how different crops and vegetables grow, and learnt about the different grains. They also enjoyed the livestock zone, as they love the animals.

“We are a healthy school and do a lot of outdoor learning about how food grows and the benefits of healthy eating, so this links in with our work really well.”

Emma Clark, who teaches at Maldon Court Preparatory School, said: “The children have been very excited about coming as they knew they would see lots of animals that they wouldn’t normally get up close to. The boys especially liked the farm machinery.

“We’ve linked the day in with our topic – safari – so we are imagining that we are on safari today. We have a healthy school committee so we promote walking to school, teach the children about keeping a healthy diet and they are involved in planning the school menu so all the themes at this event link in with the school’s work.”

Fiona Murdoch, aged 10, from Powers Hall Academy, said she enjoyed seeing all the animals, especially the cows.

“I was really interested to learn that wheat is in flour,” she said.

Amelia Carter, aged eight, from Maldon Court, loved seeing the chicks. She said: “They are very cute chicks and look really fluffy. They do sound quite noisy. It’s been great seeing the animals up close.”

Karen Watson, Essex Agricultural Society School Liaison Officer, said: “It’s been another successful year and the weather has obviously helped. We had a full turnout, with 3,000 children here and many of the exhibitors have said it has been the best year yet. Feedback from schools is given post-event but there have been some very happy, smiley faces going around the showground. There have been a wide variety of exhibits so the message of where our food comes from and the Essex countryside has been told today.”

shares

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Paul Heiney filming for Secret Rivers in his Candaian-style canoe that has been stolen

Broadcaster Paul Heiney has made an appeal for thieves who stole one of his favourite boats from a Suffolk harbour to have a conscience and return it.

Woman arrested over Leiston stabbings

A 27-year-old woman has been arrested in connection with the stabbing of two men in Leiston yesterday.

Trudi Nicholls of Fork Rent

With almost 30 years’ business experience in Suffolk, Trudi Nicholls comes across as a strong, confident businesswoman.

Stage 5 of the Womens Tour passes through Onehouse on their way to Bury St Edmunds last year

Schoolchildren will also be involved in an evening of activities in Bury St Edmunds ahead of the start of a major women’s cycling event.

Konrad Kantorowski flips from the wheel while coach John Colles looks on.

Heading down to the Kesgrave Sports Hall on a weeknight, you would probably be forgiven for expecting to find clubs practising regular sports. But sharing hall space with the local badminton team on a Thursday evening is a rather more unexpected gathering.

Photo issued by the National Crime Agency of fugitive Paul Monk, who featured on the UK's most wanted list on suspicion of drug trafficking, who has been captured in Alicante.

A fugitive on the UK’s most wanted list allegedly linked to a Colchester drugs haul has been arrested in Spain.

Stabbing in Farrow Close Leiston

Police are still piecing together two incidents in Leiston last night in which a 16-year-old boy and a man were both stabbed.

Abbie Hunter

As the sun blazes down to raise temperatures to the mid 20s, I am thinking about sport., says Abbie Hunter.

Cavendish.

“True democracy” is coming to a west Suffolk parish after 42 years, with villagers set to decide the Cavendish ward’s first ever contested St Edmundsbury Borough election.

Police are searching for Jai Stead

Police are searching for a man wanted on suspicion of robbery and failing to appear in court.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages