This film is part of Free

School Farm

This wonderful film shows members of a Rye school's Young Farmers' Club learning a wide variety of rural tasks over the course of a year.

Amateur film 1949 32 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


This wonderful film follows Rye Secondary Modern's Young Farmers' Club during the course of a year. It shows school children learning about farming through hands-on experience including; collecting eggs, skinning rabbits, disinfecting sheep with DDT, using motorised ploughs, tilling the earth and growing crops, shearing sheep, spinning and weaving wool, cutting down trees, bee-keeping, feeding and caring for all sorts of animals and making money from the produce.

The Young Farmers' Club was formed in 1936; by A W Blackman, the headmaster of what would later become Rye Secondary Modern School. Blackman wanted children to receive practical learning experiences, particularly in rural science. The club disbanded during the war, when the school premises were requisitioned, but was revived again in 1945, when twelve Kent ewes were purchased. The club took place out of school hours and its running costs were covered by selling farm produce; including honey, wool and goose eggs. Profits from the farm were also used to help finance this film. Sadly, school farms have disappeared from today’s education scene chiefly for financial reasons and concerns over health & safety.