New Initiative Supports Teachers Delivering Healthy Eating in National Curriculum
Go Faster Food for Schools, a new initiative that provides teachers with a practical resource to help deliver healthy eating in the National Curriculum, launched this Thursday (6 November).
The initiative, which provides teachers with a toolkit to bring healthy eating alive in the classroom, addresses the need to equip teachers with the tools to support the introduction of the new cooking and nutrition units, recently added to the curriculum.
Supporting Key Stages 1, 2 and 3 of the design and technology programme, the aim of the initiative is to help pupils make sense of food with classroom-based projects that help them to understand and apply the basic principles of a healthy and varied diet, prepare and cook savoury dishes so that they are able to feed themselves, and learn the source, seasonality and characteristics of a broad range of ingredients.
The initiative has already been piloted successfully in schools, sports organisations and charities across the UK and is backed by Olympic athletes. Early adopters of the Go Faster Foods for Schools initiative have been Olympic hopeful and British Pole Vaulting athlete, Lucy Bryan, and British University Circuit Race Champion 2014, Dan McKimm, who are now Go Faster Food Ambassadors.
Working directly with children and using sport as a hook, the initiative’s resources include lesson plans, quizzes, posters and a book, Go Faster Food for Kids, which offers nutritional advice and recipes that children can learn in school. It also includes an ‘Eat like an Athlete’ programme – a ten week curriculum-based workshop that allows children to develop basic skills in class, using the toolkit. A group of children are taught the theory behind eating healthily; learn to cook simple, nutritious food that tastes delicious, and demonstrate what they’ve learned to their peers, teachers and parents. They then become Go Faster Food Ambassadors and in turn teach a next set of students and so it continues, cascading throughout the school, until all the children are armed with the knowledge and know-how.
The aim is to help all children, whether they are active or not, understand how eating the right food improves their everyday life and enables them to make healthy food choices, now and in the future. A unique and effective approach that has been quickly spotted and adopted by Shaun Dowling, Head of Sport for United Learning.
Comments Shaun: “We are delighted to have piloted the “Eat like an athlete” workshops with Kate in two of our schools and have ensured that all our schools have a copy of the Go Faster Food for Kids book. Her deep practical knowledge, infectious enthusiasm and enduring passion for her work make Kate an ideal partner for us and we are proud of our relationship with her. The establishment of this initiative should enable even more young people to benefit from her no-nonsense approach to healthy nutrition."
The Regis School in Bognor Regis and Bournemouth Collegiate School, both part of our Group have piloted the Eat Like an Athlete scheme in recent months. The ambassadors that have been trained in both schools will be holding workshops for younger students this winter. Go Faster Food for Schools is also working in partnership with Bristol City Community Trust to set up workshops for over 100 community schools in the Bristol area.
Mike Garlick, Head Teacher at The Regis School, says the impact it has made to the pupils has been impressive. “Our students are enjoying taking part in this initiative. It is easy to become involved with and has a potential impact that can stay with them throughout their lives. We believe that we have a responsibility as a school to help our students make the right choices about their wellbeing. A scheme such as this is an excellent way of doing so.”
The Go Faster Food for Schools initiative is the brainchild of author and fitness writer Kate Percy, who successfully penned Go Faster Food (Vermilion, 2009) and Go Faster Food for Kids (Go Faster Food, 2013). Kate Percy says: “We are helping children to make sense of food. Children not only learn what they should eat to fuel their bodies, but also how to make it and importantly, discover that good food tastes delicious. The aim is for healthy eating to become a part of everyday life, because they want to eat meals and snacks that are good for them.
“The strength of the Go Faster Food initiative is that it uses sport as a hook. Our experience is that it works as a powerful tool to engage all children, not just active kids, with the idea of eating correctly. Working in collaboration with teachers to educate children in class we deliver the key messages from the ground up, directly to children. It’s not just a fun way to learn, it empowers them to sustain a healthy eating lifestyle, giving them the knowledge and practical ability they will use throughout their lives.”
To find out more information about the Go Faster Food for Schools initiative, visit www.gofasterfood.com and follow the link to the Schools Programme. The book, Go Faster Food for Kids, can also be purchased on Amazon and in larger Waitrose stores nationwide.