Teachers empowered with hands-on farm experience

Thursday, 15 February 2024

An interactive conference for teachers aimed at empowering them to enhance classroom learning proved to be a resounding success.

In January, sixty-five teachers from various parts of the country participated in a hands-on workshop at Harper Adams University, gaining opportunities to engage in activities related to food production, science and nutrition, ultimately enhancing their curriculum delivery.

The Food – a fact of life conference featured workshops covering a range of topics and included a farm walk of the university's beef and sheep units, robotic milking dairy unit and pig unit. Participants experienced ice cream production, bread production and sensory evaluation of food products.

The event, delivered by Harper Adams University, AHDB and the British Nutrition Foundation, included insightful sessions on nutrition, emphasising how breakfast impacts the dietary quality of children. It highlighted specific initiatives such as regenerative flour, alterative feed and nutrition, all aiming to contribute to the environment's wellbeing. It also informed teachers about the career opportunities available to their students in this sector.

The conference was well-received by the teachers, with 100% of them feeling more informed and saying it had given them ideas to take back to school and implement.

Tracy, a teacher from Green Corridor, said she attended the event to make new connections, learn about sustainability and pick up some practical skills.

"It has been amazing," she said. "We learnt about sustainability in wheat making, and I have some great ideas to take back to the classroom. It has really been interesting."

AHDB’s Head of Education, Roz Reynolds, said:

“It was a great experience collaborating with the team at Harper Adams University to host our interactive Food – a fact of life conference, together with the British Nutrition Foundation. Teacher training is a key part of our overall education programme, and we were thrilled with the turnout for this hands-on and immersive conference.

"Teachers really enjoyed the opportunity to learn first-hand from industry experts and see sustainable farming in action through the farm tour. We have received hugely positive feedback from teachers that the day provided new insights and ideas to boost their classroom teaching."

Lucy Catley, Senior Lecturer at Harper Adams University, added:

“This has been a fantastic example of how organisations working together can achieve amazing things. We have loved the opportunity to meet food teachers from across the country who are as passionate about food education as we are. Our university’s mission is the commitment to ‘making a difference’ and I really feel we have achieved that today.”

Frances Meek, Education Services Manager at the British Nutrition Foundation, said:

“We were delighted to work in partnership with AHDB and Harper Adams University to be able to offer teachers this valuable opportunity for professional development. As a former teacher myself, I know how important it is to get hands-on experience of a wide range of activities, as well as to be able to network with colleagues and experts in the field.

"Our hope is that the learnings teachers take away from the event will support them to provide even more engaging and up-to-date lessons for children and young people.”

Image of staff member Roz Reynolds

Roz Reynolds

Head of Strategic Operations, Education and Nutrition

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