In the last academic year, more than 9,000 students learnt about the many exciting career opportunities available to them in the food and farming sector, reveals national education organisation, LEAF Education, in its latest impact report – Our Work in Action 2019-2020.
The report also highlights the wider impact LEAF Education has had on reconnecting young people with food production, farming and the environment, especially given the challenges and disruptions caused by the global pandemic.
Carl Edwards, Director of Education and Public Engagement at LEAF Education, explains: “The education of millions of children was severely disrupted by the health crisis between April and July this year. But, despite the lockdown, the LEAF Education team were able to deliver an imaginative and immersive online programme of activity which ensured that thousands of young people of all ages could continue to learn and be inspired by the journey of their food – from farm to fork. A key part of this activity was to raise their awareness of the many exciting career paths and opportunities in the agricultural industry. As the consumers and decision makers of the future, helping them understand the important role farming plays in their everyday lives, has never been more important.”
Highlights from the report:
– LEAF Education successfully engaged with and educated 9,238 students about a career in agriculture.
– LEAF Education worked with 10,586 children and spent a total of 24,589 hours working with them.
– LEAF Education developed a comprehensive range of online resources on Countryside Classroom, specifically for use in the home-setting in response to the first national lockdown.
– Countryside Classroom saw a 77% increase in users to the website in 2020 and received over 158,000 unique users (over the past academic year 2019/20).
– Over 134,000 Countryside Classroom resources were accessed this year.
– 100% of teachers reported that LEAF Education had increased their confidence in delivering more food and farming work in the classroom.
– LEAF Education worked with 1,357 teachers for 16,309 hours including 106 trainee teachers.
– LEAF Education supported farmers to deliver high-quality educational activities working with 3,531 farmers in 2019/20. 100% of farmers said the training offered was ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’, 49 farmers received CEVAS (Countryside Educational Visits Accreditation Scheme) training.
LEAF Education works across the education, farming and food sectors to inspire and engage teachers and young people about food production, farming and the environment. It manages a number of leading industry and educational initiatives, including Farmer Time (live, on-farm virtual education sessions), CEVAS for outdoor learning providers, Countryside Classroom (online information portal), Chef on the Farm and LEAF Open Farm School Days. LEAF Education also provides teachers with curriculum and exam specification – focused training, tools and resources to help them deliver high-quality learning experiences about food production, farming and the environment.
In 2021, LEAF Education will once again be on the search for the Innovation School of the Year in Food, Farming and Environment. As part of a partnership with Coleg Cambria Llysfasi, the national competition enables students to be immersed in practical farm activities such as milking cows, handling sheep, using drone technology, seeing agro-forestry in action and tractor driving.