The Great Yorkshire Show

STO looks at county shows around the country and what they offer visiting schools.

It's the middle of June and we are entering into peak county show season. Typically ran by agricultural societies, these traditional events have been taking place across the country since the 19th century. 

They're best known for their Best in Show awards, agricultural machinery showcases, and traditional rural skills demonstrations. However, they're also great events to take a class of children for an educational day out. 

Opportunities to bring the curriculum to life are everywhere. Visits link to Geography as pupils can observe and record data, identify different environments, and identify human and physical processes. 

Trips can be linked to History as children learn about the lineage of each show and investigate how they have changed over time. 

Science is easily studied during a visit, as children learn about life cycles, the protection of living things in the environment, and food chains. 

Then there are subjects like Citizenship that can be touched on, as pupils study the range of jobs that are visible at an event and talk about the differences between voluntary and paid-for roles.  

If you've never taken your class to a county show before, here's an idea of what's on offer during a visit.

Cheshire County Show

The Royal Cheshire County Show offers schools a dedicated School's Out marquee and the Sainsbury's Agri Centre, where pupils can learn about where their food comes from. Visiting children can watch live milking demos, see cheese-making in action, and view exhibitions on topics like conservation and animal welfare.

Kent County Show

This three day event hosts a number of educational areas for schools. There's a section where children can learn why farming matters to Kent. There's a spot where pupils can study the importance of bees with Kent Beekeepers Association, and there is a model and engineering tent where school groups can get hands on learning the Science behind certain types of machinery. 

The Great Yorkshire Show 

There's a dedicated educational Discovery Zone at The Great Yorkshire Show. Inside children can visit a range of exhibitors and stand-holders to take part in educational activities. At the 2017 show, pupils could try sporting activities with Great Yorkshire Sport, try circus skills, learn about the food chain, visit Eggucation to learn about the life cycle of chickens, and visit the RSPB to find out more about bird species and protection.  

Can't wait until next summer?

If you've missed your local county show for this year, put it in your school trip planner for next year. Alternatively, if you can't wait until then, the following events are scheduled to take place next term.


Taking place on Tuesday 10th October, at Westpoint Arena in Exeter, Farm Wise has been created to teach children about the sources of their food.  A range of activity zones will be open on the day where pupils can learn about a variety of topics; from cookery skills and healthy eating to the importance of farming in Devon. A number of teacher resources are also available to download online now.  

Countryside Live

This event will take place at Lee Valley Park between 30th September and 1st October. Visiting children can try bush craft, learn about wildlife, and find out all about what it takes to stay safe in the outdoors. Children can also try traditional skills like willow weaving and watch demos of things like blacksmithing.

Photo credit: The Great Yorkshire Show