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Project information

St Cuthbert/St Matthias:Farms for City Children

Pupils from St Cuthbert with St Matthias CofE, Kensington, London, visit Farms for City Children at Treginiss,Pembrokeshire. A unique opportunity – and potentially life-changing experience – for urban children to live and work together for a week on a real farm in the heart of the countryside

May 2018 - May 2018

Charity information: Farms for City Children

Farms for City Children logo
  • Need


    Urban children are becoming more disconnected from nature. They have little understanding where their food comes from; physical activity and outdoor play are being replaced by screen time (with associated obesity and mental health issues); and, in our increasingly risk-averse society, the ‘home territory’ of the average 8-year old – the area they’re allowed in on their own – has shrunk by 90% in a generation. Also, practical skills have been devalued in the national primary curriculum


    The farm experience is a world away from their daily lives. Children flourish in our homely, child-centred environment. They gain a strong understanding of where their food comes from; of healthy eating; and of environmental and sustainability issues. Activities provide physical challenge; repetition of tasks to build skill and confidence; real-life application of curriculum subjects; teamwork; and purposeful activity, so everyone can take responsibility for their work and feel valued.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    A life-enhancing and life-changing, experience for Year 4&5 pupils from St Cuthbert with St Matthias


    » Children help the farmers with their herd of organic milking Friesian cows, sheep and bees.
    » Direct contact with a wide range of farm animals, including cows, sheep, horses, donkeys, pigs and poultry.
    » Gardening and going on a nature walk where the children learn about the local environment and habitats.
    » Helping to grow and cook the vegetables they eat with their meals and learning to make things from natural materials in Forest School.

    What success will look like

    Evidenced by teacher feedback during and at the end of the week, as well as ongoing monitoring of the children during their stay by Wick Court staff.

    Aim 2

    Provide this opportunity at no cost to the pupils, their families or the school.


    » Fundraising through The Big Give, supported by The Thomas's Schools Foundation - a partner of St Cuthbert with St Matthias CofE Primary School.
    » Farms for City Children subsidises the cost of each child by over 50% – a total subsidy of £10,800.

    What success will look like

    Hitting our Christmas Challenge 2017 target.

  • Impact


    Exposure to the countryside and the food cycle has a lasting impact on children’s relationship with their environment and on their eating habits. The farm experience enriches, extends and supports learning in school and beyond. An independent study (Bill Graham OBE, 2014) confirmed our work as “an essential link between the way in which children learn and their social knowledge and behaviour … establishing positive relationships …, the foundations to becoming confident and successful learners.”


    The project is subject to raising funds through the Big Give and we may not attract sufficient donations to cover the costs of the programme. TSF will be actively marketing it to their supporters in Kensington and beyond to mitigate this risk.
    Operationally, there are ongoing risks surrounding bio-security and Health & Safety which are continually monitored to ensure adequate processes and mitigation is in place. Recently Avian Flu meant that alternative arrangements for visits were made.


    In the run up to the farm visit, donors will receive email updates on progress. During the visit, email and social media communications will tell of the children’s experiences on the farm. Afterwards, supporters will hear of the children’s experiences first hand, for instance at a school assembly.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £11,100

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      Amount Heading Description
      £9,900 Costs Cost of a whole class of year 5 and 4 teachers
      £1,200 Transport Transport from London to Gloucestershire

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Thomas's School Foundation £2,775 Conditional
  • Background


    St Cuthbert with St Matthias CofE Primary School in Kensington and Chelsea London, is in a low income ward. It has a high percentage of Free School Meal (FSM) pupils. The rural-urban classification is the highest rating because the school is within an urban major conurbation. The school catchment is an area that ranks amongst the lower deciles on the Multiple Index of Disadvantage. Wick Court is an Elizabethan moated Manor House which operates as a working farm.


    A whole class of year 5 pupils at St Cuthbert with St Matthias CofE Primary School.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have developed and refined our work over 40 years and have great confidence in our capacity to deliver it, and of its impact and value. Our farms combine a safe and welcoming residential environment with a unique opportunity to work as real farmers for a week. Our staff are trained to work with children and animals, and we have developed a week-long programme of activities that really encourages children to flourish.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Heather Tarplee , Farm School Manager

    Heather has worked at Wick Court since it opened in 1998. She manages the team and runs the Forest School sessions with the children.

    John Goodman, Farm Manager

    John runs the farming and farming sessions with the children at Wick Court. He specialises in conservation and rare breeds.

A week at one of Farms for City Children’s Farms gave the children a new world which provided an old memory for ever.” “It is a once in a lifetime experience where city children really can grow and thrive.” “When asked to sum up their week in one work they always used the same one "Freedom"".

Glynis Cobb - Teacher at Granard Primary School visited FFCC for 14 years