School visits that bring farming to life!

If you’re looking for a school trip that will engage and inspire pupils, you’ve come to the right place.

We are passionate about helping the next generation understand the ‘farm to fork’ process and the role we, as farmers, play in conservation on our 750-acre working family farm. Our progressive approach sees us produce traditionally reared, grass-fed beef cattle and sheep kept to the highest welfare standards alongside sustainably grown arable crops that include wheat, oil seed rape, maize and sweetcorn. We also grow potatoes, carrots and pumpkins; giving us a diverse crop rotation.

We take our role as guardians of the countryside very seriously; planting trees and actively encouraging wildlife to make the farm their home, and also embrace the latest technology to help us reduce our carbon footprint.

Farming for the future

As an intergenerational farm, you will learn about how our role is changing as an industry, as we adapt to and mitigate against Climate Change and strive to hit the target NetZero in terms of carbon emissions by 2040. Older school children can study our carbon audit, which was undertaken by McDonald’s in 2022 (and to whom we are proud to sell our beef to), while younger school children can help ‘do their bit’ by planting a tree in the winter.

This makes us ideally placed to offer educational visits on a diverse range of topics to suit different ages and areas of the curriculum, with the focus of STEM learning. But our school visits aren’t all about learning – children will also enjoy access to the huge indoor and outdoor play areas in our onsite PLAY@ farm attraction as part of their visit – making it truly a day to remember!

Topics to suit your curriculum…

Our visits are split into three main themes – activities will depend on the time of year you visit, but content can be tailored around the age of your pupils and what you are focusing on in the classroom:

Farm-to-fork

Learn all about what we grow on the farm and what it is used for.

We’ll give you an overview of what we produce throughout the farming year, but what you see and do will depend on when you visit.

For example, during January we will take the children on a trailer ride to the wheat fields (wellies needed!) where they’ll learn about sowing and harvesting, before seeing the Oil Seed Rape in its early growing stages.

If you visit in Spring, you’ll see these two crops growing fast ready for harvest in August.

In September, you’ll get to see some harvesting in action, while during late autumn visits you can see crops in store; take a look at our vast pumpkin fields or find out what crops are being sown ready for next summer’s harvest.

Children can even pretend to be ‘little farmers’ – planting some seeds, bulbs or trees (depending on the time of the year) or maybe picking/digging some fresh veg to take home and enjoy with their families.

New life

On our farm you can learn about farm animals and their young.

Our very own Farmers will give you a fascinating talk on the animals that call the farm home with lots of fun facts.

You can then visit our Animal Zone to meet some of our friendly animals, which will vary depending on when you visit (during winter our beef herd will be indoors sheltering from the weather on thick straw beds, and during February and you can see our lambs and ewes in the lambing barn).

In Spring, Summer and early Autumn you may also get to hop on our farm trailer ride (weather dependent) to visit lots of other animals – great and small – including some of Farmer Ray’s more unusual pets, which include Llamas and Emus!

The working farm

Come and take a look ‘behind the scenes’ and learn about the busy, varied life of a farmer!

Children will enjoy a fun, informative talk from Farmer Ray, Farmer Richard, Farmer Roger or Farmer Connie – who’ll share their vast farming knowledge with plenty of entertaining anecdotes alongside fascinating farming facts.

They’ll also learn about the impact farming has on each and every one of our lives and the different types of farming that help put food on our tables.

You’ll then learn about harvest time and get to ‘meet’ the machines that are so key to the success of the farm; discovering what they are used for and seeing how technology has changed farming over the years.

You may also have a chance to climb inside our Combine Harvester for real a ‘Farmers’ View’ of the world (please pre-arrange this with our Schools Co-ordinator).


Activities that change with the seasons

Our visits are built around children experiencing ‘live’ farming – so the activities will depend on the topic you choose and what’s happening down on the farm at the time of your visit. Whatever the time of year, you can rest assured of a great mix of interactive learning, ‘hands-on’ activities and exploring our large & small animal zones before letting off steam in the play areas. Here’s a rough guide of what to expect throughout the farming calendar:

September & October – Harvest time! Get hands-on picking potatoes, carrots, sweetcorn or pumpkins. Children will also see the planting of our winter crops – Wheat and Oil Seed Rape – and have chance to ‘meet the machines’.

November – November’s ‘hands on’ activities include planting bulbs and trees.

December – Christmas is a magical time at the farm. Our XMAS@ immersive experience is perfect for younger children – as well as meeting Santa and enjoying festive crafts in the elves’ workshop, the adventure includes a Christmassy tale in the Haybarn Theatre and fun indoor faux-snowball fun.

January – Plant bulbs and trees, hop on the farm trailer ride to see how the winter crops are growing and help us feed the wildlife.

February & March – With lambing season well underway, you’ll join us in our purpose-built lambing barn to meet the new arrivals – and their mums! Planting potatoes may also be an option at this time of year.

April & May – With Spring in full bloom, now’s the time for planting pumpkin, sweetcorn and sunflowers seeds, with trailer rides to the livestock fields to see our animals and their babies.

June – This time of year sees out legendary trailer ride really come into its own – see the crops before harvest, plant some wildflowers, and meet the machines before making the most of our outdoor adventure playground.

A tailored experience…

Every one of our school trips is unique; our schools coordinator will work with you to tailor a trip with activities that support the curriculum and are suited to the age and abilities of your group.

Half day or full day sessions are available, as a cost of £10-00 per person (half day) and £12.50pp (full day). Children should bring their own packed lunch and dress suitably for time on the farm – wellies and a warm, waterproof coat are recommended to change into for outdoor elements.

Feedback

The whole of the nursery staff and children would like thank everybody at Lower Drayton Farm for the planning and execution of the most amazing trip. The children absolutely loved their day, all the activities and information was tailored to match their age and engage each child – which was greatly appreciated.

The subject knowledge of everyone at Lower Drayton Farm was great! We learnt lots of amazing facts and the children have loved sharing the facts with everyone today at school. Both group leaders were amazing with the children, particularly with some of the quieter children – making their experience memorial. The day was planned perfectly, having the appropriate amount of play, learning opportunities and experiences. The variety of animals we saw and handled was also amazing.

The nursery staff loved that they had the opportunity to take a step back and enjoy the trip as much as the children. One member of staff has commented to say it was the best trip she had ever been on.

The facilities were extremely clean and it was amazing to have the whole farm to ourselves, it made the experience so much more enjoyable for everyone! We would highly recommend coming to Lower Drayton Farm for a day or school trip and we defiantly hope to come back soon!

Thank you so much for a great day! We had the best time and created memories that will hopefully forever.

St Joseph’s Catholic Academy

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