Pill Food Journeys

A project with two schools in Pill, North Somerset to explore the local countryside, find out what food is being raised there, discover who's involved, taste some local food and do some cooking.

  • year 6 & 7 students explore local countryside to find out about locally raised food
  • students meet beef and dairy farmers, allotmenteer, chef at cancer care centre, lake owner, bee keeper and storyteller
  • students build clay oven
  • students prepare pizza and apple cakes ... and eat them.
  • students document experience, take photos & notes
  • year 6 students assemble photo sequencies and write scripts – audio-slideshow created, see Pill Food Journey
  • year 7 students make blogs, create apple art and conduct a storytelling session
  • also see photosheets (links lefthand column)

In June 2009 year 6 pupils from Crockerne Primary set out on a journey to find out what food was being raised in their local countryside. With them was Rob Harvey, wildlife expert and film producer, he was there to explain what birds, animals and insects were eating. This journey was all about food!

There are arable fields and pasture a few minutes walk from the school as well allotments. The children were able to identify wheat, barley and oats and discover what they were used for, as well as finding a crop of broad bean plants in full flower.

In another field they met farmer Chris Allcock who was pleased to introduce the young people how he managed his cows and sheep. Further on they came to the village allotments where Helen Sherborne gave the children tomatoes and basil to eat and took them to see her chickens, pointing out other vegetables on the way.

Part of the mission was to find the ingredients for pizza. And as a further part of the project the young people went up to St Katherines Secondary School to help build a clay oven. Two weeks later, when the clay had dried, the children returned to St Katherine's to make and enjoy pizza.

The young people photographed the entire journey. As part of the project the photos were printed and brought into the classroom. The children sorted them into separate sequencies, or stories. They then wrote and read some scripts which described the sequencies

These sequencies and scripts were used to make the audio-slideshow. See audio-slideshow Pill Food Journey

But this was only half the project. The following September many of the Crockerne year 6 students were starting at St Katherine's Secondary School. With the rest of their contemporaries they were part of year 7 – five classes with around 25 students in each. These students would explore another  area of Pill countryside.

In class groups all the students went to Pill Community Orchard on Watchhouse Hill. Here they met storyteller Jane Flood. The students had to search the orchard for 'story clues'. A whole range of objects had been hidden in holes in apple trees or balanced on branches – a hat, a golden apple, a little house, a harp and others.

When they were found they were brought back to Jane who selected one of them as the basis of a story. After this the children had to pick some apples and fill a basket with them. These would be used later. Then depending on which group you were with there were three different journeys. These were –

    – meeting the chefs at the Penny Brohn Cancer Care Centre and finding out about some of the principles behind a healthy diet. The young people were also given snacks to try and interesting vegetables to handle.

    – going down to Ham Green Lake. Meeting the lake owner and finding out about the fish (although they may eat each other the lake fish rarely get eaten by people). But  there is also a bee keeper with hives on the lakwe side and the students were able to find out about bee keeping as well as tasting some of their honey.

    – meeting the farmer and the cows of the Alvis Brothers organic dairy herd. The young people were told about the strict regime which governed orgainic milk production and also received some cheese to eat.

The students arrived back at school for a session working with the school's kitchen staff to prepare the apples they'd picked earlier to make apple cakes.

Students also made some apple art, blogs and conduct a storytelling session creating new stories.

You can download photosheets of the whole project. Find the links in the lefthand column.