Education & Schools
Education and working with schools is a central part of the work of city farms and community gardens, and this is reflected in FCFCG's involvement in a number of partnerships and initiatives within this area.
Our overarching aim is to support the use of farming and gardening as an education tool and to promote the benefits of learning outside the normal classroom environment.
News & Updates
Education News Headlines (select Read More for details):
- NEW! School Farms Conference July 2013, London - BOOK NOW!
- NEW! Lots of news coverage of School Farms
- NEW! 100th School Farm Launched in March 2013
- Prince Charles praises school farms and gardens
- Food Hubs in Schools
- Free Trees for Schools
- School Food Growing Campaign
- School Food Growing Task Force
- Reciproc8 Recycling Partnerships
Access to Farms
Access To Farms (ATF) is a partnership of national organisations aiming to improve the opportunities and quality of educational access to farms by schools. Set up by FCFCG in 1999, ATF has 15 national partner members (see below) and has developed the country's most comprehensive database of farms providing educational access.
The partnership shares information and good practice, arranges joint educational projects, provides training and manages an online database allowing teachers to identify the nearest or most suitable farm to visit. The database is hosted by the Growing Schools programme at: www.growingschools.org.uk/
The Countryside Educational Visits Accreditation Scheme (CEVAS)
The ATF CEVAS Training scheme accredits farm staff, or advisors, who are working with school groups and endorses the farm premises as being appropriate for school visits. The qualification can then be used for farm accreditation through the Learning Outside The Classroom Quality Badge to endorse the farm premises as being appropriate for school visits.
The Open College Network accredited training is very well recognised and worth nine credits. For further information about CEVAS and courses available, please visit the website www.face-online.org.uk/cevas
School Farms Network
There are now 100 School Farms in the UK. FCFCG helped set up and now co-ordinates the School Farms Network.
The network offers support and assistance to school farms, co-ordinates meetings and facilitates the exchange of ideas and information, including peer teacher support. In addition, an e-newsletter is regularly despatched to members to keep them up to date.
Growing With Schools (Coventry)
“Teachers’ lack of knowledge and confidence in the field of horticulture means that they need the support of a specialist to make the best use of their school grounds.” (Growing Schools Evaluation, CEE/Bath University, 2003)
Awareness and support for hands-on growing activities in schools are increasing. Numerous resource and information packs are now available, but what staff in many schools need is personalised support from knowledgeable individuals.
The ‘Growing With Schools’ hub project was set up to do just this for schools in Coventry. It was originally funded by The JJ Charitable Trust and the Mark Leonard Trust. It is managed by the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens. Coventry Education Business Partnership and Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School and Language College are the other partners.
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In 2001 FCFCG was commissioned by the Department for Education and Skills, now called the Department for Education, to research the links that exist between schools, farming and gardening. A partnership of organisations has continued and expanded this work to produce the most comprehensive resource on farming and gardening/horticulture education for teachers and other educators. You can visit the Growing Schools website at www.growingschools.org.uk for a range of resources. Sign up to receive the Growing Schools e-newletter packed full of news, events and resources: Sign up now.