Return to the Farm
18th April 2016
The Reception children have recently returned from their second visit to the Greatworth Farm education centre. This time I was invited along to share the fun, joining Mrs Clifton’s class.
The children began by recalling what they learnt during their last visit (see the blog Farming Partners, Nov 12). They noted how the land has changed and looked for signs to tell them what time of year it is. Next they were reminded of the potential dangers of a working farm put red flags near to any hazards they spotted such as uneven pathways and the hoo hoo - a steep ditch which is supposed to stop sheep getting in to the garden, although one especially bouncy one managed it whilst we were there!
We visited the lambs and each child was given the opportunity to feed some very lively orphans and we also held the chicks. Later in the day the children helped to form a Venn Diagram whilst sharing similarities and discussing differences between mammals and birds (the lambs and chicks).
In the Bluebell Room Jane showed us a variety of eggs from a usual sized hen egg, to a double sized hen egg with two full yolks in, right up to an ostrich egg. The children learned many of the ways in which eggs can be used in cooking - cracking and beating uncooked ones, peeling boiled eggs and watching one being fried (from a safe distance). They then had the opportunity to compare all of the various cooked eggs and taste them.
Even lunchtime was a learning opportunity with lots of farm related story books available for the children to choose from once they had finished eating.
After lunch Rosie talked about seeds and the types of plants which grow from them. The children made their own twig pots to bring home a tomato seed. We hope they grow!
Our final activity of the day was to venture back outside to look at the similarities and differences between two tractors – and old Fergusson and a newer John Deere. Every child had a chance to sit them although the John Deere was so huge it was difficult to get onto the seat! The back wheel was taller than the adults!
The activities were perfectly planned for the age group and addressed various Early Learning Goals - Pupils: listen attentively in a variety of situations (1), follow instructions (2), show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements (4), know the importance of a healthy diet (5), are confident to try new activities (6) and know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things (14).
As well as being clearly educational, it was a really fun day. I was extremely impressed by the behaviour of the children, despite being so young. They listened well with very little prompting, were polite and followed instructions, waited patiently in line for their turn on the tractors, and were brave in trying new experiences. Well done everyone, when can I come again?