This course sets out a series of characteristics of good practice in regard to teaching food in UK primary schools. The characteristics were determined via consensus building exercises with primary school practitioners and initial teacher training providers across the UK. They can be adopted as part of a good practice approach by all those that teach food in primary schools.
Scope and purpose
This course aims to:
- define the key characteristics of good practice that are specific to teaching food;
- exemplify these characteristics of good practice in UK primary schools;
- 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/co-coordinator, or Class teacher;
- highlight the key features of achieving these characteristics, showing how these can be put into practice, with teacher case studies and suggestions of how to develop these for the future;
- support primary school teachers, especially those who are newly qualified;
- enable practising teachers to audit their own practice to plan and implement personal and professional development goals.
Characteristics of good practice
There are 9 characteristics covered in this course:
- Developing professional competence
- Taking a whole school approach
- Teaching the curriculum
- Running practical food lessons
- Establishing good food hygiene and safety practices
- Developing food skills
- Exploring where food comes from
- Applying healthy eating
- Making informed choices
For structure, each characteristic in the guide has three key areas:
- Overview – bulleted information describing the broad approach to the characteristic;
- In practice – information organised under headings (appropriate to the specific characteristic), describing what teachers can do;
- 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/co-coordinator, and Class teacher.
Who is this for?
This guide has been developed for a variety of audiences, specifically those that teach, or are training to teach, in primary schools throughout the UK.
Key audiences are:
- head teachers;
- senior leadership team;
- curriculum leads/co-coordinators;
- classroom teachers;
- newly qualified/trainee teachers;
- teacher training providers.
How can it be used?
It is anticipated that this guide 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 food teaching;
- acknowledging the role of the teacher in the whole school approach to health and wellbeing.
- Space has been provided for staff to add other ways in which the characteristics could be put into practice.
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.
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 primary schools: a framework of knowledge and skills (PHE/DfE 2015).
While the curricula and qualifications around the UK set out what should be taught in regard to food (including healthy eating, cooking and where food comes from) there is little in the way of specific guidance on teaching food in UK primary schools.
BNF 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 – while there are curricula differences, there are similarities with regard to professional competence, classroom management, knowledge and skills.
The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided by the All Saints Educational Trust for the production of this course.
The content of the guide was developed through consensus workshops and consultation with: Roy Ballam, British Nutrition Foundation; Amy Bergiers, Nantgaredig Primary School, Wales; Haydn Bettles, Armitage CE Primary School, England; Deborah Convery, Balmalloch Primary School, Kilsyth, Scotland; Rosalie Forde, Three Ways School, England; Siobhan Jennings, Health and Wellbeing Service, Leeds Council, England; Megan Johnston, Alexandra Parade Primary, Scotland; Gretel Lewis, Ysgol Bryn Teg, Wales; Frances Meek, British Nutrition Foundation; Jason O’Rourke, Washingborough Academy, England; Steven Park, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland; Mary Stephen, University of Aberdeen, Scotland; Claire Theobald, British Nutrition Foundation; Elizabeth Tydeman, Public Health England, England; Lorna Williams, University of Worcester, England.
We would also like to thank the following for providing photographs and case studies to demonstrate the characteristics of good practice: Tim Baker, Charlton Manor Primary, England; Amy Bergiers, Nantgaredig Primary School, Wales; Haydn Bettles, Armitage CE Primary School, England; Rosalie Forde, Three Ways School, England; Megan Johnston, Alexandra Parade Primary, Scotland; Gretel Lewis, Ysgol Bryn Teg, Wales; Jason O’Rourke, Washingborough Academy, England; Zoë Panić, Liphook C of E Junior School, England; Claire Theobald, British Nutrition Foundation.