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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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October 2019

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Early Years, Foundation & Key Stage 1 Zone

Most students of this age concentrate on farming & habitats. Some schools come for a half day visit either in the morning or afternoon especially during lambing in March when the weather can be a factor. Other schools however make a day of it and come for a whole day

Arrive at Rushall Manor Farm (The Black Barn), Back Lane, RG7 6DS. Coach parking is available.

A typical farming and habitat timetable can be downloaded as PDF files but most schools choose from these activities

  1. Farmer Steve’s Yearbook. What does Farmer Steve do throughout the day, what time does he get up, what does he wear around the farm, what does he eat for breakfast and where does that food come from? What does he need to do to look after the animals & crops? Who’d like to be a farmer?
  2. The Farmyard Feely Box. Full of things to do with sheep. Without peeking can you use words to describe what you’re feeling? Are they rough, smooth, cold or hard? Gives the children a chance to get hands on and work out what all the sheep things are e.g. hay, straw & a salt lick.
  3. The farmer can only do all his work because he has a tractor. A chance to have a drive on the Little Blue Tractor and a good opportunity to take photographs. With adult supervision Years 1 & 2 can also go up in the Combine Harvester.
  4. Growing all the crops. What’s growing in this field, what will we do with it when we harvest the crop, who’d like to help Farmer Steve sow some seeds?
  5. The livestock. What animals do we have at Rushall Farm & why do we have them all? A chance to interact with the hand reared lambs and also the cattle, chickens and pigs on the farm. Also the opportunity to meet the donkeys, not part of the commercial farm but old hands at school visits. All visitors to the farm love meeting the livestock and it’s important that they know that for the most part these animals aren’t pets but are an important part of the commercial viability of the farm. Always a good opportunity to discuss poo.
  6. A woodland walk and Colour Pallets. Who can find the most colours, shades & textures? A chance for the children to explore and have something to take home with them
  7. The Blue Tit Game. A simple food chain game that gets the children thinking about who eats who. A good opportunity to run around and collect “caterpillars” but watch out for the Sparrowhawk.
  8. Pond Dipping. All ages love Pond Dipping. Which creatures live in the pond and what are they up to? All from the safety of a purpose built dipping platform.
  9. In May, June & July see the bees in the observation hive. Where is the queen & why are girl bees workers & boy bees lazy. Try some honey (bee spit), dress up as a beekeeper and lets all waggle dance.

During lambing there is always an opportunity to hold lambs and hopefully see lambs being born.


Risk assessment all sites for school visits to Rushall Farm Sept 2018 with tractor ride

Risk assessment for KS1 Foundation Farming Sept 2018

Risk assessment for KS1 Foundation Habitat activities Sept 2018

KS1 & Early Years Farming & Habitat Day Timetable