A GCSE in natural history has been branded a ‘great opportunity’ to reconnect farming and children by the NFU.
Examination body OCR has put forward the proposal for the new GCSE to the Department of Education (DfE) following an initial consultation earlier this year.
Five themes within the proposed GCSE include flora and fauna, human impact on the world, the natural shaping of the world, life in the early world and the changing view of the world.
Subject to DfE and Ofqual approval, the GCSE could be delivered in schools from September 2023.
Applauding OCR for their commitment to create a curriculum which supports childrens’ desires for learning, NFU chief education manager, Josh Payne, said: “It is very promising that 96 per cent of respondents to the initial consultation for the qualification thought that outdoor should be an important element of the qualification.
“This is a great opportunity for GCSE students to potentially get out onto farms and meet the farmers who are producing their food and caring for the iconic British countryside.”
But some are wary the GCSE could indoctrinate young people into anti-farming rhetoric and paint farming methods as detrimental to the environment.
LEAF chief executive officer, Caroline Drummond, said the organisation will look to engage with OCR on the GCSE to provide balanced information and help foster students’ ability to critically think and form their own opinions.
An OCR spokesperson told Farmers Guardian they had engaged with farming stakeholders, including the Nature Friendly Farmers Network, and welcomed further discussion on working with the farming community, recognising their contribution.