Countryside coming to classrooms in Suffolk

Children in schools across Suffolk will have a chance to learn more about the countryside when a new roadshow launches next year.

Bookings are now being taken for the Outreach Outdoors project, which aims to bring the countryside to children in primary schools across the county.

The project has been launched by the Suffolk Agricultural Association (SAA), with support from the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), after the cancellation of the SAA’s School Farm and Country Fair this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ray Goodman, spokesman for SAA, said: “Cancelling the 2020 fair meant around 4,500 children were not able to benefit from the ‘hands-on’ experience of food, farming and country pursuits which have made the event such a great success for the past two decades.

“So we have adapted our ways of working and instead will be bringing a celebration of the countryside direct to primary school children in their classrooms in 2021.

“Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors we are able to offer this event free to all participating schools, on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

“We will provide all the practical learning resources including gazebos and materials to deliver the sessions outdoors, and suggested lesson plans with opportunities to ensure all learners are also making progress in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths), PSHE (Personal, Social & Health Education) and Citizenship.  The visits will be planned and delivered in line with government guidance and tailored to work with each school’s practical arrangements. The sessions are being delivered by qualified teachers, who understand the need to inspire, engage and ensure all learners are making progress.”

Terry Behan, BASC’s director for the East of England, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Suffolk Agricultural Association with their ‘Outreach Outdoors’ project. This is a fantastic opportunity to engage with thousands of schoolchildren throughout the academic year. This initiative will inspire and empower children to learn about the management of the countryside and highlight the importance of farming, food provenance, biodiversity and conservation.

“BASC will be delivering fun, interactive and educational sessions which are aimed at connecting children with nature, exploring local and national habitats and the species found within them.”

Thirty plus schools are already signed up. For more information and to book, visit: https://suffolkshow.co.uk/education/suffolk-schools-outreach-project/

ENDS