Sandfield Farm is a giant outdoor classroom, which can be used to teach many curriculum-linked topics. Since 2009, thousands of children have experienced the benefits of practical outdoor learning at Sandfield Farm. The variety of available resources on the farm, means that children can have hands on experience to either build upon lessons learnt in school, or provide a foundation which can be further developed back in the classroom.
‘Emma grabs every opportunity for learning’ (Mr Roberts, Bengeworth CE Academy)
Benefits for Pupils
Time spent at Sandfield Farm not only adds to the academic knowledge of the children but other benefits of a day on the farm include:team building experience
experience of fresh air in the great outdoors
school values such as friendship and perseverance
opportunities to develop growth mindset
exploration of all the senses
‘It is valuable for children to have the opportunity to spend time out of the classroom, with their teachers and peers to develop their understanding of the world and wider issues that may be then be discussed in the classroom’. (Mrs O’Kane, Willersey C of E Primary School)
Emma will work closely with the teacher to ensure that a day at Sandfield Farm helps to meet learning objectives. The structure and activities of the day are discussed beforehand during a pre-visit.
A typical day will run as;Arrival
Health and Safety Talk
Snack and drink (provided by the school or from children’s lunch box)
Topic linked activities out on the farm
Lunch (packed lunches provided by school or children’s lunch box)
Free play in the play wood or forest school activity
SEN children within a main stream setting
At Sandfield Farm all children are welcome. Visits have been run on the farm since 2009, in that time children with varying needs and levels of challenging behaviour have benefitted from being on the farm as there is space, practical activities and very calm dogs to spend time with. It is a wonderful opportunity for teaching staff to see their children in a new environment.
‘We have brought many children with special needs with us to Sandfield Farm. Emma caters for their individual needs exceptionally well and the visits seen as vital to their education. Children with special needs, especially if they need the freedom to run around and get fresh air really benefit from the trips to Sandfield and it is often the child who struggles with literacy and numeracy recording, who can lead others and be the greatest achiever in more hands on practical tasks.’ (Mrs Hunt, Cropthorne-with-Charlton C of E First School)
We aim to be outside for most of the day so please come well prepared. Wear ‘play’ clothes with long sleeves and trousers, even when it is sunny in the morning, weather can turn so please remember to bring the following:Hat
Water Proof Trousers
First Aid Kit (group leaders)
In the event of very poor weather, the classroom provides a welcome shelter for indoor activities
Sandfield Farm is a giant outdoor classroom, below are examples of curriculum linked activities which can be achieved out on the farm.
Listen to the story of ‘Little Red Hen’ and then walk the story of bread making on the farm. Learn how wheat is grown, harvested, milled and made into bread
Listen to and take part in a recreation of ‘Chicken Licken’. Learn about different poultry on the farm. Discuss the relationship between predators and prey on the farm.
Read the Gruffalo story, discuss habitats and recreate the different animal homes.
Read ‘Super Worm’ and learn why worms really are ‘super’ for farmers.Fairy Tales
Discuss fairy tales which include animals found on the farm, either domesticated or wild. Create something from a fairy tale using natural materials eg houses of the three little pigs.Vocabulary
Consider agricultural related words or words connected to the five senses. Use descriptive words to describe the farm.
English KS2Class reading book
Link activity to the Class Study book, for example, Charlotte’s Web linked activity includes making giant spiders webs in teams.Myths and Legends
Examples of farming myths and legends in different cultures. For example, agriculture is an important theme in Chinese mythology. How do the myths relate to actual history and modern agricultureFolk Tale
Examples of folk tales, recreation of a folk tale including farm animals and creation of something from a folk tale. For example ‘Brer Rabbit Fools Sis Cow’Poetry
Examples of agricultural themed poems, how does the content relate to modern agriculture. Seasonal poems can be read and then explored out on the farm. Use of descriptive words to describe the five senses out on the farm.
The diversity of Sandfield Farm provides a range of maths related activities
Examples of on farm activities
Identify different leaf shapes. Consider different shapes in the farm yard. Create 2d and 3d shapes using natural materials.
A day in the life of a dairy farmer. A year in the life of a dairy farmer.
Length and height
Explore different lengths and heights using natural materials. Explore the varying size of animal feed, for example chick crumbs compared with pig nuts.
Investigate how much water a dairy cow drinks and how much milk a dairy cow produces, why is there a difference?
Create repeating patterns using natural materials. Look for repeating patterns in the farm, man-made and natural
Counting and number bonds
Explore number bonds using natural materials
Follow a set of position instructions in the wood to explore left, rights, forwards, backwards, around, between, near, far, clockwise and anticlockwise.
Use the trees in the wood to explore 1-100, counting in 2’s, 5’s and 10’s
¼, ½, ¾ 1 Measure out cow feed ration and show different fractions. Pick apples from the tree and cut into four pieces.
Measure the air temperature and the soil temperature, discuss the temperature required for the grass to grow, what does this mean for the farmer?
As above, plus
Measure field perimeter, measure the ridge and furrow and compare to a flat field. Measure out cow feed ration. Why is the length of silage (cow feed) is important for nutrient uptake?
Consider a litre of milk. How much does a litre of milk cost to produce, verses how much the farmer is paid for the milk, verses how much milk costs in the supermarket.
Number and measurement
Explore a mini field measuring 1m2 x 1m2. How many wheat seeds are planted, how many wheat seeds are harvested, how much flour is produced, how many loaves of bread can be made? Or measure height, girth and age of a tree.
Maths in dairy farming, when does Farmer Rob use percentages, ratios, measurements and angles.
Sandfield Farm has two distinct soil types, a mixture of cropping and diverse habitats and vast views across the Vale of Evesham.
Examples of on farm activities
Why is Sandfield Farm a good farm for one type of farming and not good for another?
Learn about the importance of seasons and weather on the farm. Look at soil temperature, rainfall, wind direction. Make a ‘wind sock’
Human and Physical Features and Influence
Consider human influence in the Vale of Evesham. Walk to the top of the hill, what can you see using basic geographical vocabulary, what is natural, what is man-made?
Use a compass to identify compass directions. Explore the fam using a farm map.
Explore the farm and devise a simple farm map
Land Use patterns
Why is the Vale of Evesham good for farming, how was the Vale of Evesham created, how has it changed, how has farming changed at Sandfield Farm and why?
Compass Work/Field Work
Use a compass to identify the eight points on a compass. Use an Ordnance Survey map to explore the farm. Create a farm map with grid references.
Emma’s family has farmed Sandfield Farm since 1895. Emma has lots of family stories which demonstrates important historical events in the Vale of Evesham over the last one hundred years. The layout of the farm and field names help put the historic events into context, such as the ‘bomb ground’ a field name created during the Second World War when a bomb was dropped on the Ashchurch to Evesham railway line.
Examples of on farm activities
Changes in living memory
How has the farm changed from Emma’s grandad’s day to the current day? Look at and consider farm machinery/tools from 1940’s compared with modern day machinery
Significant national events
Impact of the Second World War on the farm and Emma’s family, consider agricultural production, Land Army, food rationing, look at the railway line and ‘bomb ground’. Great Fire of London, recreate Tower bridge with natural materials.
How does modern farming differ from hunter gatherers?
Use resources on the farm to create stone age drawings. How did stone age man find food? Which animals impacted on Stone Age man?
Which crops were grown in Ancient Egypt, how do these compare to current day agriculture. Build a pyramid from natural materials. Explore how Egyptians irrigated their land.
Learn about the food grown, in terms of how it was grown and eaten in Ancient Greece. Using the Greek Alphabet, write names using sticks and mud.
How and why was agriculture so important to the Roman Empire? Discuss Roman Gods linked to Agriculture. Design and make a Roman God or shrine from natural materials. Make a laurel wreath. Make a Roman mosaic from natural materials.
Look at and discuss the Anglo Saxon saltway running through the farm. Discuss Anglo-Saxon farming, how does it compare to modern agriculture? Make Anglo-Saxon pottery from farm clay.
Make a Viking long boat from natural materials. Write name using Viking alphabet, sticks and mud
Agriculture relies on constant innovation in methods of agronomy, animal husbandry and machine development. At Sandfield Farm we are constantly exploring how science can improve our farming system. The farm is a real life example of changing seasons and life cycles.
Examples of on farm activities
Identify and describe different plants and trees on the farm. Why are different plants and trees important to the farmer? What does a wheat plant look like, what are the different parts of the plant called? How can the farmer help the wheat plant to grow healthily and why? Seasonal changes in the trees can be observed, and differences between evergreen and deciduous.
Which animals are on the farm, wild or domesticated? What do the animals on the farm eat, carnivore, herbivore or omnivore? Recreate an animal skeleton using sticks. Explore the human five senses on the farm. Pond dipping to explore a freshwater habitat, look for tadpoles to learn about life cycles. How the farmer meets the basic needs of the farm animal and why is this important. What does the farmer do to help the wild animals on the farm? Look at baby animals on the farm, collect eggs, how can an egg grow into a chick?
Explore different materials on the farm. Describe properties of the materials such as haard/soft, rough/smooth etc..Investigate the different materials on a tractor and why these materials are used.
The seasons can be thoroughly explored on the farm. Activities include make a summer flower book mark, collect items from an autumnal hedge and make a make a seasonal picture from them. How does seasonal weather and day length changes impact on the farm?
As above and in addition discuss pollination, seed formation and seed dispersal. Look for different plants on the farm and consider the different parts of the plant and how its seeds are dispersed. Explore different soil types on the farm how does this impact on the farmers cropping plan?
As above and in addition consider the food chains on the farm, taking into account the producers, predators and prey. Consider the meat production system on the farm. Learn about the buzzards and owls on the farm. Look for and investigate owl pellets. Look at animal nutrition, what does the farmer feed the farm animals and why?
How do different light levels impact on the plants and animals on the farm?
Living things and their habitats
Explore different habitats on the farm such as the pond, hedgerows, grass field and crops. Why does the farmer provide wild life habitats on the farm. Mini beast hunt in the pond and woodland area. Discuss the life cycle and reproduction of the cows on the farm, including animal breeding and artificial insemination.
Make musical instruments from natural materials.
Look at the pylon on the farm, why can electricity be dangerous, why does the sound of buzzing from the pylon change with the weather?
Explore how air resistance effects how different objects fall through the air, such as different seeds found on the farm eg sycamore seeds. Build boats from recycled material, launch them on the farm pond and explore why some boat shapes experience less water resistance.
Evolution and inheritance
Learn about animal breeding on the farm. Why does the farmer look for breed traits and hybrid vigour. Why are the wheat fields so uniform?
Art & Design
There are lots of different natural materials on the farm and lots of space to creatively design and make products.
Examples of activities which have taken place on the farm:
Children have been given a piece of pipe or a picture frame to concentrate the eye the landscape or an object. They were then asked to recreate it using natural materials.
Children were given clay and asked to use the bumps and lumps on the old trees in the orchard to make clay faces.
Children were asked to create Andy Goldsworthy inspired art work.
- Contact Information
- Farm map
- Risk Assessment
- Code of Practice ‘Preventing or Controlling ill Health from Animal Contact at Visitor Attractions Advice to Teachers and Others Who Organise Visits for Children
- Farming and Countryside Education
- Countryside Educational Visits Accreditation Scheme