LEAF Education’s annual online initiative helps schools spotlight British farming and food in the classroom and on the farm.
LEAF Education, the UK’s leading agri-education charity, has announced the return of Farming Fortnight – which will see hundreds of schools take part in a two-week spotlight on farming and food production. Running from 5 - 16 June, Farming Fortnight offers schools a huge range of free national curriculum linked resources covering all farming sectors to help teachers deliver inspiring, energizing, and motivating lessons and activities about farming, food production, and the natural environment.
Each day of Farming Fortnight has a different theme, with a memorable social media hashtag to encourage schools and students to share their learning experiences. Week 1 includes #MarketMonday, followed by #TechyTuesday, #WormyWednesday, #ThankfulThursday and #FutureFarmingFriday. A new hashtag for the weekend in the middle of Farming Fortnight is #SustainableSaturday ahead of LEAF Open Farm Sunday on 11th June, encouraging children to visit a farm with their families. Week 2 sees a focus on #MuddyMonday, #TractorTuesday, #WarmingWednesday, #TastyThursday, and #ForestryFriday.
The different teaching resources for each day of Farming Fortnight 2023 are designed to encourage students to engage with the activities. There are key questions to promote creative thinking and thought-provoking discussions, and instructions on a main activity that is designed to fit in with the school day, where students can explore these topics, along with alternative activities allowing them to delve deeper. All resources can be adapted to meet different learning preferences. Also, in the downloadable resources, the ‘What do you think?’ section gives schools an opportunity to develop independent critical thinking and reasoning skills in class discussions around Farming Fortnight, as well as practise their listening and communication skills.
Carl Edwards, LEAF Director, Education and Public Engagement explains:
“Now in its fifth year, Farming Fortnight provides an exciting and inspiring platform to educate and connect children and young people with where their food comes from. This is vital to enable them to make more informed food choices, and help them lead healthy, active lifestyles, – all while capturing their enthusiasm to connect with topical issues around climate change, sustainable diets and well-being and showcasing the range of future career opportunities available in the agricultural sector.
“Farming Fortnight is firmly established as a popular fixture in the school calendar and continues to grow in engagement every year. Since launching in 2019, over four million young people have engaged with our resources and videos, including more than 300,000 last year.”
Farming Fortnight was developed after feedback from young people in LEAF Education’s pioneering teenager research programme that took place in 2018 and in collaboration with staff and students from LEAF Education Demonstration School, Brockhill Park Performing Arts College. In April 2023, the organisation shared its latest teenager research, which was run in partnership with McDonald’s UK and Harper Adams’ School of Sustainable Food and Farming. The research of 2,500 young people found the agri-food industry is best placed to engage, motivate and inspire 12-19-year-olds about the sector and how to get involved in it.
Farming Fortnight is run in conjunction with Countryside Classroom, a single online destination where teachers can find and access the resources, places to visit and people to ask about food, farming, and the natural environment. Countryside Classroom is led by LEAF Education and a consortium of other industry partners committed to ensuring that all children have the opportunity to learn about and experience food, farming, and the natural environment.