Suffolk Agricultural Association roadshow to visit schools next year to connect children with nature
Suffolk’s schoolchildren will get the chance to learn more about the countryside thanks to a new roadshow.
The Suffolk Agricultural Association (SAA) will be visiting primary schools across the county next year, delivering interactive sessions aimed at connecting children with nature and local habitats.
The Outreach Outdoors project – which is supported by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) – aims to fill the void left by the cancellation of the SAA’s School Farm and County Fair.
The annual event – which is normally attended by more than 4,000 Year 3 and 4 pupils – was cancelled in both 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ray Goodman, spokesman for the SAA, said: “Cancelling the 2020 fair meant around 4,500 children were not able to benefit from the ‘hands-on’ experience of food, farming and country pursuits which have made the event such a great success for the past two decades.
“So, we have adapted our ways of working and instead will be bringing a celebration of the countryside directly to primary school children in their classrooms in 2021.
“We will provide all the practical learning resources including gazebos and materials to deliver the sessions outdoors, and suggested lesson plans with opportunities to ensure all learners are also making progress in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths), PSHE (Personal, Social & Health Education) and Citizenship.”
The sessions will be delivered by qualified teachers and in line with government guidance.
Bookings are currently being taken for the project, which is free for schools.
If the pilot is successful, there are hopes that the initiative could be rolled out in Essex, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk in the future.
Terry Behan, BASC director for the East of England, added: “We are delighted to be supporting the Suffolk Agricultural Association with their ‘Outreach Outdoors’ project.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to engage with thousands of schoolchildren throughout the academic year.
“This initiative will inspire and empower children to learn about the management of the countryside and highlight the importance of farming, food provenance, biodiversity and conservation.”
More information about the sessions and how to book can be found here.
Reporting by Callum Parke