It’s a brand-new term and time to continue the great food and nutrition work you have been doing this academic year. We’ve pulled together 10 tips to help you be ‘top of the food teaching class’ for the rest of this year!
1.Have you got a Whole school food policy?
A Whole school food policy is a shared, evolving document for everyone who interacts with your school. It sets out a common vision and helps develop a coherent approach to all aspects of food within school, including food in the formal curriculum; extra-curricular activities such as cookery clubs; provision of food and drink for breakfast clubs, tuck shops, and school lunch, and the food pupils bring into school in their lunchboxes or as snacks. We have produced detailed guidance on what a Whole school food policy should include. If you haven't yet developed a Whole school food policy, why not have a look and get the process started?
2. What will you teach?
The Food – a fact of life website resources cover three main themes - healthy eating, cooking and where food comes from - and are organised by age groups, spanning from 3 to 16 years. The lesson ideas and activities within each theme build progressively so, for example, while lessons about the Eatwell Guide appear in all age ranges, the content progresses to build knowledge and understanding about healthy eating as the pupils move through the education system. This means that if your school is following the Food – a fact of life programme, you can be assured that your pupils’ learning is developed and embedded over time. In addition, the resources have been created to support the curriculum requirements for food teaching in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Are you also wondering what to cook and why you should choose certain recipes or practical activities? There is a package of resources available to support your decision making around practical food skills, recipe progression and complexity enabling pupils to acquire, develop and secure practical food skills, along with knowledge over time.
3. What does ‘good’ look like?
We have developed a Characteristics of good practice in teaching food and nutrition education document, to exemplify what good food education looks like, for primary schools, secondary schools and for teachers of pupils with additional needs. Each document sets out a series of characteristics of good practice in regard to teaching food in UK schools, and also includes case studies. The characteristics were determined via consensus building exercises with practitioners and initial teacher training providers and are designed to be adopted as part of a good practice approach by all those that teach food. A free online course for each document has been created to help bring the information to life – great for staff training events!
4. How can you collect and organise the perfect food teaching resources?
We have a special feature on the Food – a fact of life website called ‘My Dashboard’ – you can find the icon at the top, right-hand side of the homepage. Simply register with a name, email address and password and your dashboard is ready. You can create folders for different classes or lessons and then when you find resources on the website you want to keep and use, you can click the plus sign on the resource card and it will be added to your collection. This is a great way to have all the resources you need at hand, preventing last minute panic trying to find that perfect resource you’ve seen before, but can’t locate! To find out more about My Dashboard, why not watch these videos on the FFL YouTube channel?
5. How can you make sure that any food resources you use, or create, are up to date, evidence-based and high quality?
Take a look at the Guidelines for producers and users of school education resources about food. This document sets out a series of voluntary guidelines which can be adopted as part of a good practice approach by those in the UK that produce, or use, food education resources. They can be used to help ensure that children and young people are learning about food from appropriate, high-quality resources. Case studies showing examples of how the guidelines have been adopted by external parties are available.
6. How can you develop professionally?
We offer free online training courses, webinars and workshops to support teachers’ professional development around food education. Our free online courses can be found on the FFL training page, and you will also find information about our webinars, virtual practical workshops and conferences. All our training is FREE and from January to March we are excited about seeing teachers in person at our conferences in Edinburgh, London and Cardiff.
Are you a primary teacher in the UK? If so, did you know that the British Nutrition Foundation has launched the Teaching Primary Food and Nutrition Professional Portfolio programme? The programme is open to teachers, trainees and teaching assistants and is designed to support high quality food and nutrition teaching in UK primary schools.
7. What resources are there for using themes to teach about healthy eating, cooking and where food comes from?
In each age tab on the Food – a fact of life website, there is an area called Activity packs. This is where we house sets of resources on different food themes for different age groups. For example, we have a Victorians pack and a Space pack for primary school pupils, and for early years there are packs with themes such as Amazing allotments, Delicious dairy and Perfect picnics! Our most recent addition to the Activity packs areas, for all ages, are the Challenge activities. Challenges for secondary school pupils include, Be social! where the Challenge is to create a social media campaign to encourage teenagers to make better healthy eating choices, and Variety is the spice of life! which requires pupils to create a three-day menu for someone with a specific dietary need that is varied and balanced but a little different too.
New for 2022-2023! We have written a six lesson Primary food project for each year of primary school. The projects meet requirements of food curricula around the UK, blend learning about healthy eating, cooking and where food comes from, and give pupils a chance to make a dish related to the theme of the project. Bring on breakfast (for 5-6 years) and Party time (for 6-7 years) are already available. The rest will be uploaded to the FFL website by the end of January 2023!
Support for NEA2 2022/23 - remember that we have lots of resources to support you and your pupils with their NEA2! Find out more in our recent article.
8. What recipes should you use?
We have got over 300 tried and tested recipes developed for use in schools. Our handy filter function allows you to search the recipes by age group, food commodity, food skills and more, to help you find the perfect dishes for your lessons. We have recently added 51 Global cuisine recipes to the site, these are dishes from around the world that are modern, diverse and reflect different cultures. Our West African Jolloff rice with chicken is proving to be a real hit!
9. How can you get parents and carers involved in their child’s learning about food?
Working with parents and carers is an important part of school life. In relation to food, this supports the child’s health and wellbeing, the food and drink they consume and what they learn. Come and explore our Parental engagement area for information and activities related to eating more vegetables, breakfast, healthy lunchboxes, healthy hydration and physical activity.
10. How can you stay up to date?
To make sure you have the latest information about our resources and events, sign up for our monthly email, Education News, on the Food – a fact of life homepage. For more regular updates, follow us on Twitter @Foodafactoflife
And there you go, you’re all set for a fantastic food year ahead!
If you’d like to get in touch to let us know what you think of the resources, or if you think of other resources you’d like to see on the site, do get in touch with Claire Theobald at: email@example.com
Take a look at these two case studies from teachers who use the Food - a fact of life resources.
- Amy Bergiers - a primary school teacher at Nantgaredig Primary School in Wales
- Michaela Ryan - a teacher at Wellington School in Temperley, Altrincham, England.
Is there something wrong with the page? Do you have a suggestion or would like to see something on this page?