Primary pupils become potato farmers


18 July 2023
Support offered to further UK schools during 2023-2024 to support curriculum topics.

MORE than 100 children from Peterborough schools – Newark Hill Academy, Orton Wistow Primary School, and William Law CE Primary School – have harvested their potato crops this month, a school project that they began with Kids Country back in April.

Supported by Burgess Farms and Co-op Central England, Kids Country – the East of England Agricultural Society’s education outreach – helped the children, in Key Stage 1 & 2, to plant their new potatoes in the Spring, providing them with advice on how to look after their plants over the coming months.
Children at Newark Hill Academy learning all about potatoes with Burgess Farm’s Brogan
With prizes for the biggest harvest at each school, the winners were:

•    Newark Hill Academy – Theo – 255g
•    Orton Wistow Primary School – Mantas – 454g
•    William Law CE Primary School – Sophia – 207g

As well as the all-important harvest, children also had the opportunity to taste some potato products, including potato salad donated by Co-op Central England, helping to complete that field-to-fork journey, before taking their potatoes home to eat with their families.

Melissa Goodman from Burgess Farms said: “It is great to help support the education of young children to provide the experience of growing their own potatoes and understand the positive health benefits. Showing how fun it is to grow your own produce with the hands-on activity and the excitement from the children to see their very own potatoes they had grown was wonderful to see. 

“This event is an essential initiative which helps build the knowledge of growing produce for our next generation, of which we are extremely proud to be a part of.”
Laura Tompson-Wright, Key Stage 1 teacher at William Law CE Primary School, said: “It was great to link the activity to our science curriculum objectives, observing closely the key features of plants to identify the plant correctly and describe how to care for it. We are looking forward to next year!”

Kids Country Education Manager, Sandra Lauridsen, said: “It is always rewarding to see the look of amazement on children’s faces when they tip their pot up and see how many potatoes they have successfully grown! It is also great to hear back from teachers how events delivered by Kids Country can support existing curriculum topics, including science and maths."

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She encouraged other primary schools in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland to get in touch if they would like the organisation's support for the coming 2023-24 school year. 

As well as the potato harvesting events, Kids Country also visited St Botolph’s C of E Primary School, Peterborough, to deliver a school talk on growing wheat, with local farmer Peter Sharpley, Thornhaugh, going along with Sandra to help children learn about how wheat is taken from seed through to the cereal and bread that children eat daily. 

Teacher Katie Dobson said: “As part of our Science curriculum, Year 2 learn that some plants are grown for food. We talk about the crops that farmers grow in the UK and then what happens to them after they are harvested. We wanted to develop the children's understanding of this further by listening to a local farmer to find out how the whole process works and what crops are grown locally to us.”

Kids Country’s Sandra said: “We are set-up to bring our activities into schools, so there is no need for schools to worry about arranging transport. We think that children learn best when education is delivered in a hands-on and imaginative way, and of course food, farming and countryside topics lend themselves so well to that.”

Kids Country works with 1000s of primary school children every year to being food, farming and countryside learning directly into the classroom and playground, and if you think your primary school could benefit from an activity delivered directly into school, please get in touch here.  

To keep up to date with upcoming Kids Country events, click here or follow Kids Country UK on Facebook, twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn.

Potato learning for the next generation
Planting and learning
Inspiring future generations
Farm-to-fork education