550 schools sign up for the virtual Discovery Portal

The Royal Highland Educational Trust is back at the Discovery Centre at this year’s Royal Highland Showcase ‘virtually’.

And with more than 550 schools already signed up, it is going to be a busy portal to the farming community.

The Covid pandemic has brought the interest in food and where it comes from very much back into focus, and RHET plays their role in working with our school and teachers to bring the classroom connection with our land in Scotland to life, through farm visits, storytelling and digital stories.

Their volunteer network may have been constrained by the challenges of the pandemic but they have been busy on farms, and in our rural communities generating videos and stories so our children will still have the chance to glimpse how our food is produced.

The Royal Highland Showcase has a dedicated RHET Discovery Centre page on the website which is packed with video stories, presentations and activities which will live from Monday June 14 for the duration of the event. There is also the opportunity for teachers to join the RHET team for an informative webinar ‘Lets go Outdoors’ on Thursday June 17 and up to 100 teachers have already signed up for this.

Alistair Marshall, the new RHET chairperson, said: ‘Our RHET Discovery Centre hybrid will never replace the normally noisy and mobbed centre, but we hope to entice visitors and children from further afield who might not have been to attend the Show and we hope this will broaden the appeal for the future.’

RHET’s work does not stop there. The RHET team of regional Project Coordinators have an exciting new educational opportunity, which will be launched during the Showcase event. The project kicks off in September and will run for 10-months under the theme of The Year of Beef.

Fresh back from the holidays, pupils can start in September with The Beef Story and moving through to The journey of sustainable Beef from experiences and live visits to farms in Scotland, if restrictions allow. During development and for the roll out of the project, RHET has been working closely with the Health & Education team at Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) to improve the understanding of the sustainable credentials of our livestock herd. Engaging with various industry partners, the project will link to learning outcomes whist exploring Scottish food production.

The Royal Highland Education Trust works with volunteers to provide free educational activities and experiential learning opportunities linked to Curriculum for Excellence. Their purpose is to bring farming and the working countryside and its practices to life for young people. RHET aims to provide the opportunity for every child in Scotland to learn about food, farming and the countryside and to create a wider understanding of the environmental, economic and social realities of rural Scotland.

RHET works closely with many local authority educational partners and is supported by RHASS, the Scottish Government, SRUC and many other generous sponsors but would be keen to link up with new partners on these new initiatives for the 2021/22 academic term. If interested contact the team on rhetinfo@rhass.org.uk.