Agriculture: Curriculum

Department for Education written question – answered on 30th June 2021.

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Photo of David Johnston David Johnston Conservative, Wantage

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of including agriculture in the national curriculum.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

The National Curriculum already includes topics related to agriculture such as food production, the environment, and types of land use in subjects such as geography, design and technology and science.

In the geography curriculum schools must teach pupils to describe and understand key aspects of human geography, including types of settlement and land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals and water. This is built upon in secondary schools where pupils are taught to understand how human and physical processes interact to influence and change landscapes, environments and the climate.

In science, pupils are taught to explore the requirements of plants for life and growth and how they vary from plant to plant. Guidance advises schools to support their teaching through the use the local environment throughout the year to observe how plants grow. Pupils should be introduced to the requirements of plants for germination, growth and survival, as well as the processes of reproduction and growth in plants.

The design and technology curriculum states that as part of their work with food, pupils should be taught to understand where food comes from, understand seasonality and know where and how a variety of ingredients are grown, reared, caught and processed.

The National Curriculum is a framework setting out the content of what the Department expects schools to cover in each subject and teachers have the flexibility and freedom to determine how they deliver the content in the way that best meets the needs of their pupils. If teachers wish, they can choose to cover particular topics in greater depth, for example food and farming.

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