Education case study: Michaela Ryan – Wellington School, Altrincham

Michaela Ryan is a teacher at Wellington School in Temperley, Altrincham. She told us about how she uses AHDB resources to teach her pupils about nutrition, cooking and where food comes from. 

“If you learn about food, you will always have a job because everyone needs to eat,” says secondary school teacher Michaela Ryan.

And the career prospects are endless – with everything from professional cook or baker through to quality control, food science and even sales.

For the past 16 years, Michaela has been teaching her pupils all things food-related, with lessons that go beyond developing the skills and confidence to cook. Her classes include the challenge of researching regional cuisines, seasonality of ingredients, as well as equipping students with life skills such as time management, planning and organisation.

She is confident that these lessons prepare teenagers with a wide range of necessary skills that not only enhance their lives but can be used in food-related careers.

To enable her to deliver the best results in the classroom, Michaela has been utilising a range of online resources which convey important and informative learnings in a fun and creative way.

These resources have been provided by AHDB and the British Nutrition Foundation, who work in partnership to deliver the Food - a fact of life education programme to support teaching of children aged three to 16 years.

“The online assets are fantastic,” said Michaela. “What I like most is how up-to-date they are, as they are constantly being reviewed to ensure teachers have the most relevant and current information for the classroom.”

As well as the PowerPoint presentations and work sheets, Michaela has found that the recently added Global Cuisine resources, developed with support from the All Saints Educational Trust, are helping her school become more diverse and inclusive.

“We live in a multicultural society and it’s important that we ensure our classes are focused on diversity and inclusion,” added Michaela. “Rather than just cooking the standard British recipes, we are using these resources to explore different world cuisine.

“It has been great, really enjoyable. As a teacher, I’ve also found it fascinating and have been experimenting with the recipes before bringing them into the classroom – so we are all learning something new!

“What’s great about the resources on Food - a fact of life is that they can be edited and adapted to meet our needs, which may differ from other schools. I use them as a source of information and add to them with new challenges to create a larger project encompassing research, budgeting, and time management – all of which is transferable into careers.”

Michaela has also taken advantage of the training sessions offered to teachers as part of the Food - a fact of life programme, which supports educators with their professional development.

The training is designed to support the needs of teachers, based around delivering their curriculum. It builds on the successful work of AHDB and the British Nutrition Foundation working with teachers over many years.

“These training courses and events are brilliant,” added Michaela. “They are incredibly useful and help me feel more confident delivering classes to my pupils. Things change constantly and it is great that I feel up-to-date with the latest developments in the industry.

“I would encourage other teachers and schools to embrace these resources. Most teachers are time poor and don’t have many opportunities to search various websites checking information, so it is a real advantage to know that everything we need is in the one place and is updated regularly.”

Case study: teacher Amy Bergiers

Blog: Food – a fact of life serves up valuable tools for teachers

Find out more about AHDB's education work