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"We all learnt a great deal about Farming - it helped the children to understand the idea of Farming more. A real hands on experience!"

By Reading School Year 4 teacher



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Farmer John’s August ’15 blog

Farmer John’s August ’15 blog

27 Nov 2015

It was always going to be a busy week.  120 children from Featherstone School in Southall each day on rivers and farm, 40 children camping for four days from Katesgrove School in Reading , plus a number of regular schools.  Then at the last moment 22 girls from an outstanding school in Fulham.  It was hot, record hot and Ramadan. I had the late entries for what was timetabled as a farm visit. The teachers were all male and explained this was part of a “Physics week”. My heart sank. Physics and I were a disappointing combination.  I had wanted to become a vet and got a place at the Royal Veterinary College based on 2C’s and a D. The weekend before my last A level exam I was invited to going sailing. We drove down to Benfleet, dodged the huge tankers in the Thames Estuary, the sun on our backs and the wind in our faces. We cruised up the Medway, relaxed in the pub and sailed back the following day. The Physics paper on Monday afternoon plumbed depths of knowledge which appeared absent and my sunburnt back made the experience even more uncomfortable. The results proved the point.  However, I was offered a place at Reading but only if I did an extra year to bring my knowledge of Physics up to speed.

So, with the Fulham girls we had a go at impact theory and the results clearly evident in our chalk face of the huge meteorite which hit the earth 65 million years ago. That was about it.  Of course, we cuddled lambs, walked through the woods, admired the foxgloves, got stung by nettles and failed badly at identifying vegetables in the garden.  By lunchtime the teacher in charge was struggling with severe hay fever, and the girl on her food and water fast was somewhat faint. Another wearily asked “Are we still in London?” I was encouraged by two West Indian girls who really seemed interested in my words of wisdom about farming, conservation and LIFE. I cautiously asked them whether they had enjoyed their visit to this rural haven.  They reply “Man, we don’t do the countryside.  This is the 21st century”. It was Alton Towers for them the next day. No problem with Physics there, mechanics, motion, forces but hopefully no impact theory.