This course sets out a series of characteristics of good practice, determined via consensus building exercises with primary and secondary school practitioners, awarding organisations, initial teacher training providers, and experts in supporting pupils with additional needs across the UK, which can be adopted as part of a good practice approach by all those that teach food and nutrition. Each module has a downloadable 'check list' which has been designed for you to use to review and reflect on your practice, highlighting actions for the future - a useful tool for your own personal development.
Scope and purpose
This course aims to:
• define the key characteristics of good practice that are specific to teaching food and nutrition to pupils with additional needs;
• exemplify these characteristics of good practice in UK schools, both in special and mainstream;
• identify exemplary practice and the school staff who could take responsibility for leading or enabling the practice, e.g. governor/head teacher/senior leadership team; curriculum lead/coordinator; special needs coordinator (SENCo); or class teacher/teaching assistant;
• highlight the key features of achieving these characteristics, showing how these can be put into practice, with case studies and suggestions of how to develop these for the future;
• support teachers that teach pupils with additional needs, especially those who are newly qualified;
• enable practising teachers to audit and reflect on their own practice to plan and implement personal and professional development goals.
There are 12 characteristics covered in this course:
- Developing professional competence.
- Taking a whole school approach.
- Knowing your pupils
- Teaching the curriculum.
- Developing skills for independent living.
- Developing skills for work.
- Running practical food lessons.
- Establishing good food hygiene and safety practices.
- Developing practical food skills.
- Exploring where food comes from.
- Healthy eating.
- Making choices.
Each characteristic has four key areas:
• Overview – bulleted information describing the broad approach to the characteristic;
• Case study – exemplifying the characteristic through real-life contexts;
• Putting the characteristic into practice – information organised under headings (appropriate to the specific characteristic), describing what teachers can do and focusing on supporting pupils with additional needs;
• Exemplary practice – how those with different responsibilities in the school can enable/deliver exemplary practice, i.e., governor/head teacher/senior leadership team; curriculum lead/coordinator; and class teacher/teaching assistant.
Who is this for?
This course has been developed for a variety of audiences, specifically those that teach (or are training to teach) pupils with additional needs. Key audiences include:
• head teachers;
• senior leadership team;
• curriculum leads/coordinators;
• classroom teachers/teaching assistants;
• newly qualified/trainee teachers;
• teacher training providers.
Note: It is recognised that support staff, teaching assistants and higher-level teaching assistants play an essential role in supporting pupils with additional needs, under the direction of and in partnership with the teacher. Therefore, the term staff has been used to refer to all members of the school community who can make a meaningful difference to the inclusion and progress of pupils with additional needs.
How can it be used?
It is anticipated that this course can be used in a variety of ways, such as:
• ensuring that the teaching of food and nutrition is pupil-centred and appropriate for a pupil’s own learning journey;
• developing pupils’ skills for independent living and the world of work, especially within catering and hospitality;
• showcasing good practice through defined characteristics;
• encouraging the 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 food and nutrition teaching;
• acknowledging the role of the teacher in the whole school approach to health and wellbeing.
The inspiration for this work was initially 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, as well as the more recent publications from the British Nutrition Foundation on the Characteristics of good practice in teaching food and nutrition education in primary and secondary schools (BNF 2019, 2020). The work also builds on the Food teaching in primary and secondary schools: A framework of knowledge and skills published by government (PHE/DfE 2015).
While the curricula and qualifications around the UK set out what should be taught regarding food (including healthy eating, cooking and where food comes from), there is little in the way of specific guidance on teaching food and nutrition to pupils with additional needs in the UK.
The British Nutrition Foundation believed that there was a need to provide guidance and direction and highlight key characteristics of good practice that could be shared to support the profession. It was also important that the guidance was UK wide – as while there are differences between curricula, there are similarities regarding professional competence, classroom management, knowledge and skills
The British Nutrition Foundation would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided by the Savoy Educational Trust for the production of this guide.
The content of the guide was developed through a consensus workshop and consultation with:
Christine Arnold, Pearson, Roy Ballam, British Nutrition Foundation, Louise Davies, Food Teachers Centre, Rosalie Forde, Three Ways School, England, Kate Hufton, Consultant and University of East London, Adele Louise James, Whitefield School, England, Linda Jordan, National Development Team for Inclusion, Laura Kelly, St Columbanus’ College, Northern Ireland, Nerys Lloyd, Pen-y-Cwm School, Wales, Jan McCutcheon, Springboard, Amanda McDade, Springboard, Frances Meek, British Nutrition Foundation, Jessica Simpson, West Lothian School, Scotland, Silvia Trabucchi, Hamilton Lodge School and College, England,
Ewen Trafford, British Nutrition Foundation
We would also like to thank the following for providing photographs and case studies to demonstrate the characteristics of good practice:
Rosalie Forde, Three Ways School, England, Kate Hufton, Consultant and University of East London, Invicta Grammar School, England, Adele Louise James, Whitefield School, England, Debbie Jenkins, Ysgol Bryn Derw ASD Special School, Newport, Wales, Laura Kelly, St Columbanus’ College, Northern Ireland, Nerys Lloyd, Pen-y-Cwm School, Wales, Hilary and Joshua Long, parent and son with additional needs, England, Joe Mann, Torquay Girls Grammar School, England, Jan McCutcheon, Springboard, Caroline Parsons, Square Food Foundation, England, Jessica Simpson, West Lothian School, Scotland, Daniel Smith, Brannel School, England, Step and Stone, Bristol, Silvia Trabucchi, Hamilton Lodge School and College, England, Valley Park School, England