Maths, Science, Geography and History at Brynmawr Farm

Date Posted: 02/10/2015

Pictured: Learning at Brynmawr Farm.

Brynmawr Farm in Shropshire has several branches within its educational programme, which provides National Curriculum links to Maths, Science, Geography and History but more importantly lets the students explore and learn about the outdoors through experience. 

School visits – the basics

All curriculum-linked school visits are based around a farm tour, led by farm owner Trevor Wheeler, who has just won the Bayer Face award for Farming and Countryside Education, with specifics discussed with teacher’s beforehand to coordinate the trip to current studies.

Topics include, organic farming, healthy eating, the food chain, where food comes from and energy, which utilises the solar panels, wind turbines and straw bale buildings on site at the farm.

As part of learning where food comes from, children will visit the fields where ingredients such as corn and potatoes are growing. They can then return to Brynmawr’s dedicated classroom to cook something to show how produce goes from farm to fork.

John Muir Award

In partnership with Shropshire Wildlife Trust, the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership and the John Muir Trust, Brynmawr Farm runs the John Muir Award, which encourages students to enjoy and care for the natural environment.

The four-day award challenges students in four areas: discover, explore, conserve, and share. Pupils will discover a wild place on the farm and explore it by completing a range of activities to increase awareness and understanding of the wild.

They will then be challenged to take practical action and personal responsibility to conserve the area of wildlife. Conservation activities include building shelters from the pine on the nature reserve as well as soil testing and mammal trapping. 

“By being outside and doing, the students learn so much,” Jacky Harrison, farm secretary, said. “There are so many benefits to learning outside the classroom, particularly for those children who might not excel in reading or writing. Just by experiencing things out on the farm they are learning so much.”

Students then follow-up the award back in the classroom by sharing what they have discovered through a display or presentation, combining the visit with both Literacy and Art.

Work experience

Brynmawr also offers work experience to sixth form college students. The week long work experience, with a school teacher in attendance, could involve building a cob oven, a bridge or hedging.

Harrison explained: “It depends on what the students want to do but at the end of the week they will have accomplished something and they will have built something.

“The week builds confidence and teamwork. They’re given tasks to do that they normally wouldn’t dream of doing and particularly for the inner-city children it is fantastic as it is something completely different.”

For more information visit www.clunvalleyorganics.co.uk.

School Travel Organiser's Guide