New Initiative Supports Teachers Delivering Healthy Eating in National Curriculum

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5 November 2014

Go Faster Food for Schools, a new initiative that provides teachers with a practical resource to help deliver healthy eating in the National Curriculum, is launching 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, part of United Learning’s national group of independent schools and academies, 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.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

More information about the key areas of the healthy eating curriculum units that Go Faster Food for Schools can help with:

As part of their work with food, pupils should be taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. Instilling a love of cooking in pupils will also open a door to one of the great expressions of human creativity. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill that enables pupils to feed themselves and others affordably and well, now and in later life.

Pupils should be taught to:

Key stage 1

  • use the basic principles of a healthy and varied diet to prepare dishes

Key stage 2

  • understand and apply the principles of a healthy and varied diet

  • prepare and cook a variety of predominantly savoury dishes using a range of cooking techniques

Key stage 3

  • understand and apply the principles of nutrition and health

  • cook a repertoire of predominantly savoury dishes so that they are able to feed themselves and others a healthy and varied diet

  • become competent in a range of cooking techniques [for example, selecting and preparing ingredients; using utensils and electrical equipment; applying heat in different ways; using awareness of taste, texture and smell to decide how to season dishes and combine ingredients; adapting and using their own recipes]

  • understand the source, seasonality and characteristics of a broad range of ingredients

More information about Kate Percy

The Go Faster Food for Schools initiative is the brainchild of author and fitness writer Kate Percy, who wrote Go Faster Food in 2009 after her husband’s interest and success in running marathons, was improved by a change in diet instigated by Kate. Studying sports nutrition and introducing healthier choices that sustained his energy levels to help him train and run faster, Kate began to develop recipes that were healthy, tasty and nutritionally-balanced for the whole family to enjoy and noticed the energy levels in her family soar.

Armed with first-hand experience of how eating healthily could fuel the body, Kate worked closely with dietician and nutritionist Sue Baic MSc RD RNutr, and following British Nutrition Foundation guidelines, developed recipes that were nutritious, simple to make, and delicious to taste. A further book, Go Faster Food for Kids was published in 2013 and Kate began to share her knowledge with parents, teachers, coaches and children through workshops.

A regular contributor to Runner’s World and 220 Triathlon, Kate is currently appearing on Sky Sports Game Changers and has run Go Faster Food workshops with London Youth Rowing and the BBC’s Bristol Food Connections, where she spent a week working with 1,400 children. Kate has taken her cooking workshops into schools in Bristol, Bath, Bournemouth and Banbury and has also worked with Chobham Academy in London. To date, around 2,000 children have undertaken them.

For more information please see attached Q&A.


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