Top marks for new food learning zone
19 May 2021
- Good Food Champions see first 100% score in teacher training portal
- New partners and supporters announced for food, STEM and sustainability initiative
A Fife teacher has become the first to score a perfect 100% in a new online training resource for Scotland’s schools and colleges.
Heather Aird, who teaches at Viewforth High School in Kirkcaldy, did an online course in Health and Food Technology on the Good Food Champions portal, which helps schools educate secondary pupils about food, STEM and sustainability.
The digital training platform aims to show teachers the importance of the whole food and drink chain, from farm to fork, linking it to curriculum subjects such as Biology, Geography, Maths, Environmental Science and Health and Food Technology.
Taking food into the classroom
The online learning platform was launched in February 2021 by the Good Food Champions a partnership between organisations headed up by Food and Drink Federation Scotland (FDF Scotland), Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET), Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), and the Rowett Institute at the University of Aberdeen, with funding from Education Scotland.
The Good Food Champions partner organisations want to raise awareness of career options in food and drink, especially in STEM, and to link food education to issues such as health and wellbeing, climate change, waste and food security. Resources include presentations, webinars, quizzes and input from a range of experts, all linked to the teaching of SQA units from National 4 to Advanced Higher.
Home Economics teacher Heather Aird is excited about taking her new knowledge into the classroom: “The Health & Food Technology Course as part of the Good Food Champions Food, STEM and Sustainability Training has allowed me to further develop my knowledge of various topic areas such as the future of food, nutrition, food trends and food adulteration. Not only has this developed my professional knowledge, but it will support my pupils, especially those who are studying Health and Food Technology. I can't wait to share some of the resources with them.”
New partners and supporters
Since the launch of the learning platform in February this year, a number of universities, research and skills organisations have backed the initiative, joining the programme as partners or supporters. With expertise in areas from nutrition and food technology to environment to employability, they include:
- Abertay University
- Developing the Young Workforce (DYW)
- Glasgow Caledonian University
- James Hutton Institute
- Queen Margaret University
- SEFARI Gateway
- Skills Development Scotland
- SRUC – Scotland’s Rural College
- Zero Waste Scotland
Mary Holland, Director of DYW North East, states:
“School pupils and educators may not fully realise the breadth of careers available in the food and drink industry – involving areas of STEM from engineering to chemistry to biology to nutrition to maths. The Good Food Champions’ new online learning zone is advantageous to schools and colleges, helping educators understand the whole of the food chain from gate to plate, and its relevance to the curriculum and careers.
“DYW is delighted to support the programme, helping to ensure that young people are aware of potential routes and opportunities towards interesting and meaningful careers and employers get the future workforce they need.”
Learning from lockdown
The Good Food Champions’ offering originated as a response to Covid-19, giving educators access to a suite of digital learning resources. The long-term value of an online learning platform enables teachers like Heather Aird and her colleagues, flexible access to a wide range of resources for different curricular areas.
According to Heather, “Although the Health and Food Technology course I took suggests it takes five hours, you could spend many more, or even days, exploring the excellent assortment of in-depth resources such as PowerPoints, presentations, webinars, quizzes, Wakelets and so much more, all in the one place.”
The free online Food, STEM and Sustainability learning zone from the Good Food Champions initiative, can be accessed by pre-registration.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
About the Good Food Champions
The Good Food Champions are a collaborative partnership of organisations working together to upskill practitioners in food, STEM and sustainability. The collaborative aims to provide teachers with factual information, stimulate reflection, develop understanding of food systems and crucially understand how they can become more sustainable.
The online learning platform was launched in February 2021 by Food and Drink Federation Scotland (FDF Scotland), Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET), Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), and the Rowett Institute at the University of Aberdeen, with funding from Education Scotland.