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Suffolk Show 2018: Saxmundham Primary crowned Suffolk Farming School of the Year

PUBLISHED: 14:21 31 May 2018 | UPDATED: 17:26 31 May 2018

Sandlings Primary School, Saxmundham Primary and The Ashley School Academy Trust at the Farming School Of The Year Competition    Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Sandlings Primary School, Saxmundham Primary and The Ashley School Academy Trust at the Farming School Of The Year Competition Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Singing and dancing schoolchildren took to the stage at the Suffolk Show to share all they had learnt about the evolution of farming.

Saxmundham Primary School are the winners of the Farming School Of The Year Competition     Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSaxmundham Primary School are the winners of the Farming School Of The Year Competition Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The final of this year’s Suffolk Farming School of the Year competition was held at Trinity Park today, with three schools competing for the crown.

The children were asked to research how agriculture has changed over the past 100 years.

As part of the contest, participants had to design and build a model of a farm from 1918 alongside one from the present day, and were also invited to a series of workshops.

From the 20 Suffolk schools that entered, Sandlings Primary School in Sutton, Samundham Primary School and The Ashley School Academy Trust in Lowestoft made it to the final

A pupil from Sandlings Primary School on stage   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNA pupil from Sandlings Primary School on stage Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Five pupils from each school gave an eight-minute performance at the Suffolk Show today about what they had discovered throughout the project.

Parents watched on beaming with pride as their children showed off their new-found knowledge through song, dance, props and costume.

Pupils from The Ashley School, which caters for children with learning difficulties, gave a heartwarming rendition of Old MacDonald Had A Farm using sign language.

While all three schools were praised for their outstanding work, Saxmundham received the winning trophy.

Sandlings Primary School pupils during their performance  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSandlings Primary School pupils during their performance Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The competition is in its sixth year and is organised by Suffolk Agricultural Association (SAA), which also runs the Suffolk Show.

Judges were Paul Moss from CLASS Manns Ltd, Stephen Miles, SAA president elect, and Lisa Harris from the Museum of East Anglian Life.

Mr Moss said they were impressed with the Saxmundham pupils’ use of a TARDIS from Doctor Who to jump between different periods between 1918 and 2018 during their performance.

Brian Barker, volunteer steward at the Suffolk Show and chairman for the School Farm and Country Fair, was compere for the finale.

Pupils ready for the Farming School Of The Year Competition at the Suffolk Show    Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPupils ready for the Farming School Of The Year Competition at the Suffolk Show Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

He said: “SAA’s charitable objective is to engage with the general public and educate them about farming so it’s crucial we get more people in schools talking about farming as we are living in such a wonderful rural community.”

Mr Barker said there was currently a shortage of skilled labourers in the agriculture industry and it was important to inspire future workers early.

Suffolk Farming School of the Year 2018 was sponsored by Felix Cobbold Trust.

Easton and Otley College is heavily involved in the Suffolk Show and works to educate the next generation of farmers.

A pupil from the Ashley School Academy Trust on stage  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNA pupil from the Ashley School Academy Trust on stage Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Farming lecturer John Attridge said: “Easton and Otley is committed to helping spread the word that farming offers the opportunity for people of all ages the chance to have a fun, interesting, varied and diverse career.

“The skills that you learn within farming can allow you to work pretty much anywhere in the world and indeed many of our students take that opportunity to travel and learn new skills in other countries. Some of the technology that is happening in farming is akin to space travel and the industry needs to attract some of the brightest minds into the industry. And as a college, we work with a number of external organisations to help get this message out.”

Pupils from the Ashley School Academy Trust on stage  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPupils from the Ashley School Academy Trust on stage Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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