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Characteristics of good practice in teaching food and nutrition education (secondary)

Free course

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A practical guide to help teachers become better teachers.

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Complete the course to access the final assessment.

Course details

NOTE: This course is available free-of-charge to those working in secondary schools. To register for your free access code, click here. 

While the curricula and qualifications around the UK set out what should be taught, and teacher trainers and professional development providers focus on themes such as pedagogy, class room management and resource provision, there is little in the way of a specific ‘guide’ to teaching modern food and nutrition in UK secondary schools.

In the past, this ‘guidance’ was often passed on through experienced teachers, local authority advisers and other experts. Now, with low levels of teachers being ‘food’ trained, fragmented support and non- food specialist teachers teaching in the classroom, we believed that there was a need to provide guidance and direction, and highlight key characteristics of good practice. It was also important that this ‘guidance’ was UK wide – while there are curricula differences, there are similarities with regard to professional competence, classroom management, and knowledge and skills. 

The inspiration of this work was based on the 1996 publication Characteristics of good practice in food technology (Ofsted), which was produced to help schools implement food technology as part of the National Curriculum for Design and Technology in England. The work also builds on the Food teaching in secondary schools: a framework of knowledge and skills (PHE/DfE 2015), and the Food Teacher Professional Portfolio (FTPP) programme, which ran from 2015 to 2018 supporting professional development needs of secondary food teachers.  

This course sets out a series of characteristics of good practice, determined via consensus building exercises with the secondary school food teaching community from the UK, which can be adopted as part of a good practice approach by all those that teach food and nutrition.

Scope and purpose

This course aims to:

  • define the key characteristics of good practice that are specific to teaching food and nutrition;
  • exemplify these characteristics of good practice in UK secondary schools;
  • highlight the key features of achieving these characteristics, showing how these can be put into practice, with teacher insights and suggestions of how to develop these for the future;
  • support the food and nutrition teaching community, especially trainee, newly qualified and non-food specialist teachers;
  • enable practising teachers to audit their own practice to plan and implement personal and professional development goals.

Who is this for?

This course has been developed for a variety of audiences, specifically those that teach, or are training to teach, food and nutrition education in secondary schools throughout the UK. Key audiences are:

  • practising secondary school teachers, including non-food specialist teachers;
  • newly qualified teachers;
  • teacher trainer providers;
  • trainee secondary school teachers.

Note: It is acknowledged that terminology may be different around the UK, e.g. Schemes of Work may be known as Schemes of Learning or Teachers’ Guides.

Characteristics of good practice 

For every characteristic, in each of the three areas, five key features have been identified:

  1. Knowledge and skills: The knowledge and skills required by staff to deliver effective lessons and activities.
  2. Planning and implementing: The planning and implementation of learning, policies, procedures and processes.
  3. Resources, equipment and ingredients: The resources, equipment and ingredients required to support planned learning intent.
  4. Teaching and learning: The teaching and learning strategies that are undertaken, which enable learners to demonstrate and apply their knowledge and skills. 
  5. Assessment and impact: The assessment strategies that are implemented and monitored to assess learning impact, as well as teaching delivery.

How can it be used?

It is anticipated that this course can be used in a variety of ways, such as:

  • showcasing practice through defined characteristics;
  • encouraging consideration of other characteristics of good practice leading to further discussion and implementation;
  • promoting lifelong personal and professional development, helping individuals to audit their knowledge and skill-set;
  • developing the management of the subject
  • acknowledging the role of the teacher in the whole school approach to health and wellbeing.

Certification details

At the end of this course you will receive a personalised certificate of completion from the British Nutrition Foundation. 

This course is based on the Characteristics of good practice in teaching food and nutrition education in secondary schools publication (2019). 

For professional development purposes, this course supports: