It’s time to wish Food – a fact of life a happy 30th birthday. It started back in 1991, in a partnership with government (MAFF), to ensure that schools had access to high-quality, evidenced-based and school-appropriate resources (all pre-internet of course). From the very start the focus was on ensuring that we had a strong, rigorous and robust approach to food and nutrition education - and this drive has never stopped. While the way in which we provide support and learning has changed over the decades, with the increasing use of technology, the spirit and values of the programme remain unchanged.
Below you’ll find some links to how we will be celebrating this year, as well as a timeline of highlights over the last thirty years.
Although we are celebrating the past, we are also looking forward to the future. We must continue to ensure that all children and young people have the opportunity to learn about food, not just how to cook, but also where their food comes from and how it is produced, and how to apply healthy eating in a meaningful way. All of this must be taught via a modern food context that speaks to them, supporting all pupils on their learning journey with engaging and actionable resources, so that they have experiences that are life-changing and life-long. We all have a role in making this work – let's work together to ensure this vision – food, it's a fact of life.
30th Anniversary Conference, 13 November 2021
Join Food – a fact of life to celebrate the great food and nutrition teaching across the UK, as well as look at future issues and solutions. There have been many changes over the past three decades, from technology and pedagogy, through to nutrition science and sustainability. However, the importance of educating our young people to make informed choices and have the knowledge and skills to lead healthy lives remains. In fact, it is more important today than ever, as highlighted in the recent National Food Strategy Part 2 recommendations.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary, Nutrition Bulletin, the Foundation’s peer-reviewed journal, has published a Virtual Issue that brings together articles highlighting how the programme has evolved and expanded over the last 30 years and illustrates the British Nutrition Foundation's ongoing commitment to take food education seriously. Articles look back at the very start of programme in 1991, right through to this year looking at its impact in schools. To view the Virtual issue, click here.
Future of food education
The British Nutrition Foundation is undertaking a new piece of work to explore what a future, modern food education, that is relevant to young people and society, might look like and contain. The National Food Strategy (the plan) has elevated the debate around food and nutrition education and has made recommendations that aim to raise the status of food education in schools, support the provision of ingredients to ensure inclusivity and encourage new teachers into the profession. The aim of this work is to focus on what will make a modern food education in schools across the UK, including pedagogy, content and pupil experience. Find out more here.
Continue to support food and nutrition education in schools
Even though it’s our birthday, we will continue to support schools through the provision of high-quality resources and teacher training. We’ve got a number of new resources being launched in 2021-2022, include support for early years and primary schools, new ‘challenge’ based resources for all schools, and a special focus on supporting pupils with additional needs.
To stay up-to-date with the latest resources, make sure you're signed up to our newsletter (which you can do on the homepage), as well as check-out the training opportunities here.
Food – a fact of life timeline - highlights
- Concept of Food - a fact of life (FFL) explored and piloted, supported by the All Saints Educational Trust (ASET) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF)
- Education Working Group and Working Party established (comprising HMI, local authority advisers, exam boards, teachers and government)
- FFL Stage 1 pack launched, with over 2,000 packs ordered by schools, Local Education Authorities, Health Authorities and companies
- First National Nutrition Education Conference held in London
- BNF schools award with regional examining boards launched (which have continued annually)
- FFL Stage 2 pack developed and piloted
- FFL Stage 2 pack, with interactive software for the Archimedes computer, launched by Nicolas Soames, Parliamentary Secretary (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food), supported by regional promotional activities
- FFL Stage 3 and 4 'Energy and nutrients' unit developed and piloted
- FFL Stage 3 and 4 'Energy and nutrients' unit, with ‘Eatmeter’ software (nutritional analysis for the PC), launched
- Food technology training courses launched with universities across the UK
- Food and nutrition in Initial Teacher Training - framework developed for government, supporting primary school teachers
- FFL Stage 3 and 4 'Diet and health' and 'Food technology' units launched with Jeff Rooker, Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
- BNF celebrated its 30th anniversary
- BNF website launched (www.nutrition.org.uk)
- Interactive Food Facts CD-ROM launched (in English and Welsh), based on the Stage 3 and 4 units (also included nutritional analysis, modelling software and a virtual factory visit)
- First A-level Food technology conference held in London
- Regional Working Groups established in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales
- Food Partnership initiative launched in England (with government)
- BNF School Gallery and Healthy Schools section launched online
- Healthier lunchbox activity kit launched in collaboration with the Department of Health (DH)
- Cook Club resources launched
- Food in School toolkit for DH published and disseminated to all schools in England
- FFL website launched with healthy eating module for primary schools in collaboration with the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) (former levy boards) (www.foodafactoflife.org.uk)
- BNF SEN and Food Life Skills resources published
- Primary cooking and food skills module launched on the FFL website, in collaboration with the ASET
- First email newsletter sent to schools
- Food and farming module, for primary schools, launched on the FFL website in collaboration with AHDB
- Food competence framework developed in collaboration with the Food Standards Agency (FSA)
- Audio podcasts for primary schools launched
- First set of video podcasts launched on YouTube
- FFL website updated to include early years and secondary age phases
- Supported the launch of the Licence to Cook programme launched in England, with the DfE
- Food competences (food route) resources developed in collaboration with Food Standards Agency
- Teach Food Technology programme launched, with DfE
- eSeminar (webinar) programme launched for teachers
- European Food Framework project started (five countries across the EU collaborating)
- ‘Learn with ...’ resources and case study resources launched online
- ‘mywellbeing’ tool launched for teenagers (interactive tool)
- FFL social media networking started on Twitter
- FFL website refreshed and updated
- iPad interactive textbook pilot initiated
- BNF celebrated its 45th anniversary
- BNF Healthy Eating Week launched
- Explore food (nutritional analysis tool) launched – free to use for schools
- School Food Champions, with the DfE
- The future of food series of events: national curriculum training and SoW production (supporting the new NC in England)
- Teacher frameworks of knowledge and skills for primary and secondary schools developed, with PHE and DfE
- Food Teacher Professional Portfolio launched, a three-year programme to support food and nutrition teachers
- An assessment of use of the primary school materials on the Food – a fact of life website was undertaken.
- Working with Government, we have been involved in the creation and dissemination of resources to all schools in England and a school lunch intervention project in secondary schools in England to increase school lunch uptake.
- New FFL website launched, featuring new tools and functions, in partnership with AHDB
- Online training courses for teachers available on BNF training portal
- Characteristics of good practice in teaching food and nutrition education guide (secondary) and training
- Characteristics of good practice in teaching food and nutrition education guide (primary) and training
- Remote learning hub launched, as part of our support in the Covid-19 pandemic
- Characteristics of good practice in teaching food and nutrition education guide (additional needs)
- 30th anniversary
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