Last week, the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) launched a new professional development platform for primary school teachers. The free online course comes in response to the results of research which showed teachers were getting little training in the area of nutrition, yet poor nutrition and an unhealthy lifestyle are being increasingly linked with academic performance.
The launch took place at a conference in London for health professionals and educators to mark the BNF’s 50th Anniversary, and it’s hoped that the online training will provide teachers with the additional education they need.
The free professional development course is called Teaching food in primary: the why, what and how, and aims to equip teachers with the skills to be able to implement engaging food lessons and healthy school initiatives.
It delivers eight different modules:
- Food in schools
- Food origins
- The Eatwell Guide and healthy eating
- Nutrition understanding
- Food safety
- Cooking in the classroom
Each module includes a short test, providing teachers with feedback on their progress. On successful completion of the final assessment, teachers will earn BNF certification. The course takes approximately 5-7 hours to complete.
Managing Director and Head of Education at the BNF, Roy Ballam said, ‘It is critical that teachers lay the foundations for children to make good dietary and lifestyle choices now and as adults. But most primary teachers have received virtually no formal training in food, nutrition and physical activity.’
‘It is because of this that the BNF believes that there is an urgent need to support these teachers during their training and when they are practising,’ he concluded.
The course has been specifically created for initial and practising primary school teachers and is based on requirements from the National Curriculum (England), the Public Health England (PHE) Core Competencies for Children and Young People and guidance to support primary school teachers deliver food teaching in schools from PHE and the Department for Education (DfE).
A similar course for primary schools in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales will be available shortly.