LEAF Edu­ca­tion Demon­stra­tion Schools

What is a LEAF Education Demonstration School?

This is a pioneering school which uses or is working towards using farming, food production and the natural environment topics within its curriculum and meets the criteria outlined below over a minimum three-year period working directly with LEAF Education’s Regional Education Consultants. The school is at the forefront of creating an engaging curriculum and learning environment that seeks opportunities to deepen their pupils’ and students’ experiences and knowledge through balanced and informed insight into food production, farming and the natural environment.

Why should your school take part?

Members of the LEAF Education Regional Team are seeking, in the first instance, a select number of schools in their region as an example of excellence in using food, farming and the countryside as a core element of the school curriculum.

Being a LEAF Demonstration School will not involve completion of lots of paperwork or the undertaking of extra tasks. We want to shine a light on and champion good practice your school is already showing and to help you to build on that throughout a sustained period of activity.

You might not yet have achieved all of the criteria for each level, but LEAF will work with you to help you to meet the requirements and we will be available to answer any questions you might have. There may be references in the criteria that you do not yet fully understand (e.g. Farmer Time and Countryside Classroom) but we will explain these fully. We see this as an evolving engagement in the area of food and farming which is why the criteria are presented as a three-year commitment, developing from a Bronze to a Gold LEAF Education Demonstration School.

There is much research evidence available to demonstrate the positive impact of children’s involvement with outdoor learning. Research papers can be signposted if required.

How will we promote your work?

Once you are accepted as a LEAF Education Demonstration School, we will work with you to promote your activities in a way that you consider most appropriate. This might include sharing information/photos/quotes relating to your events and activities. With your permission, we will publish highlights in our e-newsletters and annual reports, thereby demonstrating your school’s achievements. Publication by social media will be in line with your school’s policy which must be made available to us.

We will also champion your work with us to wider organisations within the Farming and Food sectors. There might be opportunities to work with wider organisations and our other Demonstration Schools as a benefit to being a LEAF Education Demonstration School and we would hope that this is seen as a mutually beneficial opportunity.

Get in touch with your regional educational consultant to discuss becoming a LEAF Education Demonstration School.

The Criteria

Year 1 - Bronze


To be awarded this level, the school has

  1. Had training or a CPD session at the school with LEAF Education
  2. Organised an event promoting food production/farming/environment at the school e.g. a Harvest Festival / Science Week Events
  3. Incorporated an activity or topic that looks at how food and farming has a role to play in us all having climate positive impacts
  4. Had a visit from a local farmer or food production expert, e.g. an agronomist or plant scientist
  5. Visited a farmer or taken part in a LEAF Education Virtual Farm tour
  6. One member of staff taking part in the popular Farmer Time initiative

Year 2 - Silver

To be awarded this level, the school has

  1. Organised an in-school CPD session on farming/food/environment
  2. Influenced another school (discussion to be had around what influence) – perhaps ran a CPD for them to attend
  3. Submitted resources to Countryside Classroom
  4. a. If a secondary school, applied for the LEAF/Llysfasi National Competition for their school or developed a growing area which is maintained
  5. b. If a primary school, developed a growing area which is maintained
  6. Evidence of embedding of farming/food production/natural environment into their wider school life – consideration of Action Research and the benefit that a focus on farming/food/environment has on the school
  7. Improved the school’s wider impact on the natural environment, including more climate positive changes for the school with reference to food, e.g. reduced food miles, considered food packaging and sustainably produced food.

Year 3 - Gold


To be awarded this level, the school has

  1. Organised CPD sessions for a whole year group / subject area to include other schools
  2. Completed and shared results of Action Research on the benefit that a focus on farming/food/environment has had on the school
  3. Influenced others to take part in Farmer Time
  4. Maintained and developed a growing area at the school which forms part of the school curriculum
  5. Evidence that farming/food production/natural environment is seen as a priority in wider school life (includes catering staff, wider school staff, parents and local communities).
  6. A whole school strategy to consume more sustainably sourced food within the school – locally sourced, British, sustainably grown etc and valuing wider school attitudes to this.
Get in touch with your regional educational consultant to discuss becoming a LEAF Education Demonstration School.