Discovering Our Countryside brings the world of farming and the countryside right into the classroom.

Why bring Discovering Our Countryside in to your classroom?

Being lucky enough to grow up on a farm, agriculture has always been my passion and an important part of my life, first as a farmer producing food, then as a science teacher, showing film I had taken of piglets being born and helping children discover where their food comes from. While not everyone can grow up on a farm I would like more people to experience the day to day life of a farm - using today's technology I have done my best to offer this with Discovering-Our-Countryside.

Benefits of having the Discovering Our Countryside farm yard into your classroom? 

My passion for sharing and experience of agriculture led me to develop teach.discovering-our-countryside an innovative virtual learning platform (VLE) which contains a series of farming, growing and food production teaching resources in line with the new curriculum for September 2014. These include engaging video diaries, teachers' packs and student workbooks - each subject is designed as a self contained, yet integrated lesson plan that builds up the pupils' knowledge and interest in the countryside.

How to get the Discovering Our Countryside farm yard into your classroom? 

Well watch the videos of why, how and then make it so with our FREE teaching themes listed below....

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The Discovering-Our-Countryside themes: (more details below or click theme to go straight to course)

provide you with all you need to teach key points of the science curriculum, both plant and animal. The resources include schemes of work, videos to watch, suggested lesson activities, growing tips and ideas and downloadable pupil workbooks. The pupil workbooks are linked to each lesson and allow pupils to record their learning, the VLE also provides an interactive quiz for each lesson so you and the pupils can check their learning together at the end of each lesson. There are also homework sheets for each theme which involves pupils watching videos from discovering-our-countryside this will help them to take their learning home, reinforcing their classroom learning and sharing it with their parents.

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    Available courses

    GCSE Food Preparation & Nutrition – Food Provenance.

    How is your knowledge of the Eat Well Harvest?

    You will all be familiar with the Eat Well Guide but the new GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition with its section on food provenance now covers how these food groups are grown, reared and processed – the Eat Well Harvest as it where!

    Is 5 A Day Killing the Planet?

    “Is 5 A Day killing the planet?”

    This Discovering Our Countryside teaching theme “Is 5 A Day killing the planet?” covers the Eat Well Harvest with its food stories on

    • Cereals Food Story - starchy carbohydrates
    • Beef Food Story - for the beans, pulses, fish, eggs and meat section
    • Fresh Produce Food Story - for the fruit and veg section
    • Dairy Food Story - for the dairy products section

    “Man, with food has many problems man without food has only ONE!”

    Equipped with the knowledge of these food stories pupils can then continue through the theme as it investigates the “problems” food miles, food waste, sustainability, food security etc that man with food faces.

    Food Provenance

    This course is designed to help with the teaching of Food Provenance for both Key Stage 3 and the Food Provenance section of the GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition.

    • Where and how foods are grown, reared, or caught and the primary and secondary stages of processing and production.
    • How processing affects the sensory and nutritional properties of ingredients.
    • The impact of food and food security on the environment, local and global markets and communities.
    • Technological developments that claim to support better health and food production, including fortification and modified foods with health benefits and the efficacy of these

    Pupils WorkbooksThe theme provides: 

    • Multimedia Interactive Lessons for pupils which feature
      • An entry point video which asks “Is 5 A Day Killing the planet?
      • Videos telling the 4 Eat Well Guide Food Stories.
      • Pupil Workbooks linked to each food story, which are self-marking.
      • Videos to use after they have done the food stories which develop understanding of today’s food problems and food sustainability.
    • Scheme of Work downloadable as pdf or Word for you to edit
    • Lesson plans. Electronic / on screen

     

    Theme is free to use – just log in as a guest....


    Are your pets alive?

    Based around the year 1 and 2 Science curriculum of living things, animals plants and seasonal changes, but also featuring links to Design Technology, Geography and History. This theme incorporates school lessons and activities both indoor and outdoor which through out the years natural and farming cycles cover:

    1. Looking after animals. See how they develop from birth to adult-  Autumn or Spring Term

    2. Growing Plants in school and experiencing how they develop from seed to fruit - Spring or Summer Term
    Using the products of the school harvest - Summer Term

    3. Throughout the year pupils will see how farmers and growers keep animals and grow plants to produce the food you can buy in shops

    4. Throughout the year pupils will see how farmers and growers keep animals and grow plants to produce the food you can buy in shops

    Plants What use are they?

    Summary of theme

    Theme is introduced with entry point video which is designed to capture pupils interest and get them to think about plants and why they might be important in their lives.

    Pupils then grow their own seeds to help them the parts of plants and what they need to survive.

    Summary of Theme

    Follow PooEntry point introduces theme, it shows how farmers spread animal manure on the fields - fields which they then grow food crops on such as potatoes from which crisps are made.

    Having shown them this they are asked to think about several things:

    • Why is animal poo spread on fields?
    • Is this good for the environment?
    • Why does it not make food grown on the very same fields taste of poo?

    Pupils would not be expected to answer these questions at this stage - it is more designed to get them thinking about animals. their manure, plants and food. These questions will be answered by the end of the theme. The overall theme is covered in two sections: animals (previous part) and plants ( this section ideal for spring or summer term)


    What goes in....

    Based around the year 3 and 4 Science curriculum of living things, animals  and plants , but also featuring links to Design Technology, Geography and History. This theme incorporates school lessons and activities both indoor and outdoor which through out the years natural and farming cycles cover:

    1. Looking after animals, in terms of how just like humans they need a balanced healthy diet -  Autumn or Spring Term

    2. Growing Plants in school and experiencing how they develop from seed to fruit - Spring or Summer Term

    3. Using the products of the school harvest - Summer Term

    4. Throughout the year pupils will see how farmers and growers keep animals and grow plants to produce the food you can buy in shops

     

    Click on course title to log in as a guest and see a sample video


    Can Sheep read?

    Based around the year 5 and 6 Science curriculum of living things, animals, evolution and inheritance, but also featuring links to Design Technology, Geography and History. This theme incorporates school lessons and activities both indoor and outdoor which through out the years natural and farming cycles cover:

    1. How farmers select animals to breed from as a way into teaching about evolution and inheritance -  Autumn or Spring Term

    2. Growing Plants in school and experiencing how they develop from seed to fruit - Spring or Summer Term

    3. Using the products of the school harvest - Summer Term

    4. Throughout the year pupils will see how farmers and growers keep animals and grow plants to produce the food you can buy in shops

    Summary of theme

    Farmers V Bugs?

    Entry point introduces theme with video showing pests, diseases, weeds and weather (bugs) which can attack crops and animals that farmers produce our food from this introduces topic with a 'Big Idea'

    Idea behind video is to get pupils to think about the bugs farmers must fight in order to produce our food. The theme gets pupils to look at the 'Food Stories' of some foods: Potatoes, Wheat, Milk and Oilseed Rape.

    Then pupils are shown how the production of these foods can be affected by pests, disease, weeds and weather and what farmers do to try and overcome these 'bugs'

    Once pupils have this knowledge they are then able to debate the weapons a farmer uses in this war and the consequences of these choices. The theme finishes by look at some of the new technology which could be used in the future to produce our food.