Chapter 1 – Explore the main steps involved in setting up a farm visit
Decide on the ratio of adults to pupils. As a general rule, it is 1 adult to 1 or 2 young children or 1:4 for 3 to 5 year olds, but individual settings may vary. You may wish to ask parents to accompany the visit to help look after the children.
Make sure that you organize your transport arrangements early, as busses can get booked out, especially towards the end of the school term when a lot of visits are taking place. In chapter 2 of this unit, you will find some options for transport to and from the farm.
When you contact parent to let them know about the visit, it is important that you emphasise the need for pupils to come prepared with appropriate clothing including wellington boots, sun lotion, rain coat, sun hat and a water bottle. Both children and adults should be prepared for the weather: This would include hats and sun protection for the summer and wellies and waterproofs for the wet. The ground may be muddy and almost certainly uneven, so suitable footwear is very important.
A visit to a farm shouldn’t end with a wave from the back of the bus at the end of the day. The best visits are those that are followed up back in your setting. Just like you involved the children at the start of the process, involve them afterwards as well. You can share your experience by feeding back to the rest of the early years setting about your visit – perhaps by producing a display with paintings of the day out, talking about what was discovered on the farm and following up with other activities.