News & Updates
Growing Education - School Farms Conference 2013 - BOOK NOW!
The second school farms conference takes place on 5-6 July 2013 at the Phoenix High School, Shepherds Bush, London. The conference is aimed at policymakers, head teachers, heads of departments and other staff and governors, plus existing and would-be practitioners and representatives of the farming and voluntary sector agencies. Booking details and further information available from www.schoolfarms.org.uk
Media Coverage grows for School Farms
There has been a springtime bloom of media coverage of school farming. Not only has the BBC produced an online article which is available to view on the BBC website, but there was also two articles in the Daily Telegraph newspaper, one featuring Phoenix High School in London and the other about the influence of TV chefs on school farming. And Smallholder Magazine created a massive spread devoted to school farms in its April edition.
100th School Farms Launched on 12 March 2013 on Merseyside
Bebington High School Farm in Wirral, Merseyside, became the 100th school farm in the UK when it officially launched on March 12. This was a remarkable land mark and the tip of the iceberg as the School Farms Network are aware of more than 100 schools (primary, secondary, special needs and PRUs) actively exploring the rearing of livestock, so expect to hear of new school farms starting in 2013. For more details, download the following press release:
SFN Bebington Press Release
Prince Charles Praises School Farms
In a video message to the Oxford Farming Conference in January 2013, HRH The Prince Of Wales praised the work of school farms, saying: “I have long held a particular admiration for the immense value of school farms. Apart from the importance of reconnecting young people with Nature, the soil and where their food actually comes from, they can give to children of every ability an experience of growing and an understanding of farming which will serve them throughout their lives, especially when they begin to make decisions as consumers. For those students who struggle academically, the school farm can often be the lifeline that keeps them in education. Time and again I have seen how those who struggle with books often have a real talent with animals and for gardening. So instead of being a failure, they shine.”
Food Hubs in Schools: Food Hubs can be a fun way for schools to get involved in building their local food economy, learn how to set up a social enterprise and make a bit of money for the school. An action pack is freely available to download from the Local United website.
Trees for Schools: The Woodland Trust has a range of free tree packs available to schools, youth groups and communities. There are two packs on offer consisting of 105 and 420 trees to be supplied in young saplings about 20-40cm high. If you know of some public land in your local area that would benefit from trees, then apply via the Woodland Trust website.
School Food Growing Task Force: A Task Force was formed to encourage more school to grow fruit and vegetables and reported in March 2012. FCFCG (representing its member groups, the School Farms Network and Growing with Schools in Coventry, was part of the taskforce and is taking an active part developing new strategies to help give every child hands-on learning about growing food during their school years.
Reciproc8 Recycling: FCFCG has formed links with this company which provides free products and experiences to UK schools and education organisations via a recycling rewards scheme. Products include anything from hen houses to children's gardening tools and experiences include visits to venues such as farms, field study centres, botanic gardens, museums, historic houses and zoos. The scheme is simple - you gain Reciproc8 Points for the mobile phones and inkjet cartridges collected for recycling. These points can then be redeemed against the range of products and experiences. Setting up a scheme is easy, it’s done on-line and only takes a couple of minutes. Details of the full range of rewards available and further information on the scheme is available at www.reciproc8.co.uk, or you can call the Reciproc8 team on 0845 194 8288.