Top marks for AHDB Education as programme brings food and farming to schoolchildren

Thursday, 1 June 2023

Schoolchildren from all over the UK are more aware of where their food comes from and how it is produced by the nation’s farmers thanks to the hugely successful education programme Food - a fact of life (FFL).

Deemed invaluable by teachers, the programme excels in offering free teaching information and resources to educators of children and young people aged three to 16 years. Delivering the perfect pairing of expertise from the British Nutrition Foundation in nutrition and healthy eating, and AHDB in farming and how food is produced in the UK.

Demand for its free teaching material surged when home learning swept the nation's schoolchildren in 2020, and demand hasn’t slowed since the return of classroom learning. Last year, downloads of Food - a fact of life resources hit 1.3 million, totalling over four million in the last three years.

Teacher training is a big part of Food - a fact of life to ensure educators are well-informed and feel confident to deliver accurate and informative food-based lessons which are age-appropriate and in line with national curriculums.

This year saw the return of physical training events. Venues in England, Scotland and Wales hosted over 250 attendees, with 100% of them going away more informed about food education and 99% taking ideas back to the classroom to implement.

Feedback at these events was outstanding, as many stated that the farmers were their favourite part of the day. Describing the farmer presenters as "thought-provoking" offering a "fascinating insight into farming".

Virtually, a conference was also hosted in Northern Ireland and 12 teacher training webinars and workshops were held nationally on topics like cooking on a budget and practical sessions on basic food skills.

Social media channels also prove popular with teachers and students as its Twitter handle @foodafactoflife now has over 10,000 followers and its YouTube channel has achieved a total of 423,000 views.

AHDB’s Head of Education, Roz Reynolds, said:

"AHDB is committed to its levy investment in education and through partnerships like Food - a fact of life, we are able to deliver facts about food and farming directly to teachers and into schools.

"This is incredibly important as our younger generations are the consumers of the future. By learning the real story behind their shopping baskets now, we can bring consumers closer to the food they buy and enjoy, while leaving less room for inaccuracies and mistruths we so often see in wider society.

"Food – a fact of life forms just one part of our education work, which also includes sponsoring LEAF’s Open Farm Sunday and partnering on Countryside Classroom – connecting food, farming and the environment.”

Frances Meek, Education Services Manager at British Nutrition Foundation, explains:

"Introducing healthy eating habits early on can help children develop a good relationship with food and equip them with information to have a healthy balanced diet later in life.

"We create all our FFL resources with this in mind so we can support teachers across the UK as they teach pupils about food and nutrition.

"With teacher training, webinars, dashboards, resources, lesson plans and guidelines, we’ve created FFL to be the hub for everything food teachers and support staff can need to make them lessons engaging and insightful."

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