A West Lothian project has joined forces with Broxburn Primary School to produce aÂ new â€˜Farming in West Lothianâ€™ education pack. Rural Connect and teacher Magali TukeÂ developed the materials to get local pupils thinking about what is grown andÂ produced on the land around them.
Jemma Black, the project worker responsible for the pack, believes that all children should learn about where their food comes from.
She says, â€œThe traceability of food has become a huge issue in the last few years,Â and it is so important that learning about where food comes from starts at a youngÂ age. Children are being encouraged to make healthy and responsible food choicesÂ throughout their life, and the first step is knowing where your food is produced.â€
West Lothian is predominantly rural, and a large area of the county is used forÂ agriculture; however with transport links connecting up the urban towns andÂ villages, many people donâ€™t see the farming that takes place in the area. The RuralÂ Connect project is trying to change this â€“ starting with the children!
The pack was launched at a recent teachersâ€™ CPD session and is now being rolled outÂ to all primary and special schools in West Lothian. It is hoped that the materialsÂ will demonstrate how to integrate farming into all curriculum areas and show theÂ breadth of skills and knowledge needed to farm in modern times; from chemistry forÂ soils and biology for livestock to maths and business and much more.
The pack highlights key aspects of farming in West Lothian along with resources toÂ use as part of lessons. There are examples of livestock ear tags to get pupilsÂ thinking about how we trace our food, while packaging from dairy products aidsÂ discussions about how we find out more about what we are buying. Information fromÂ the Royal Highland Educational Trust (RHET) will help teachers plan farm visits toÂ reinforce the learning of the pupils, and get hands on experience of a working farm.