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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 2013 Blog

Farmer John’s August 2013 Blog

1 Aug 2013

A Camp at Rushall Farm can provide the opportunity for young people to have a real defining moment in their lives.

I have just walked past a couple of 8 year old boys on their way to the toilets on the farm. One was saying to the other “If I were in charge of the world, I’d ban girls”. I know coming to Rushall Farm on a cub camp can produce in a child a “defining moment”. We generally expect those to be seeing a lamb being born, the dawn chorus, a sunset, or a lonesome owl hooting in the night. But these lads were deep in debate about the benefits of a world without girls. Michael Gove, the Minister for Education would be proud that such intellect and reasoning was being given to this important issue by children at the start of key stage 2. Better still, it was outside the claustrophobic and often restrictive atmosphere of the classroom. It seemed highly topical in a week when Malala Yousafzia, the girl from Pakistan shot in the head for campaigning to go to school, was addressing the UN. Had this sparked their conversation? Probably it had not. It was just that girls are girls.

A picture was sent to us of my three and a half year old grandson sitting next to his one and a half year old cousin watching a DVD. Dolly was sitting next to Olivia and she looked pretty in her dress, in awe of the company she was in. He sat, arms folded, dissociating himself from this girl (who he actually quite likes).

Of course attitudes do change. I know I was quite shocked by the conversation of two 10 year olds when passing a girl they knew in my pickup. It appeared that they were far more streetwise than I was as a sixteen year old. One thing for sure, those 2 cubs will change what they think. I studied agriculture at university but I did devote a lot of time to studying girls. Just as well, as the one I studied most has been the inspirational, loving partner in my life as well as producing 3 more girls!