Brook Green go Gold
10 December 2012 – Brook Green Centre for Learning in Plymouth have got all the more reason for some festive cheer this Christmas as they celebrate achieving their Food for Life Gold Award.
Our school meal policy advisor Jeanette Orrey visited the school as the final part of their Gold assessment. She was joined by FFLP school awards manager Jo Wild and local programme manager Polly Frost. They were all hugely impressed with outstanding work that is being done by the school and told us a little bit more about why Brook Green absolutely deserve to be our 19th Gold school!
Cooking and food education are seen as an essential life skill for young people at Brook Green and every pupil takes part in practical cooking lessons throughout their time at the school. They also participate in gardening activities and care of the school’s hens and ducks. Produce from the garden is used in a variety of school meals and the FFLP team were lucky enough to taste a delicious soup prepared by pupils which contained tomatoes and carrots they had grown.
The garden is led by the school’s site manager and pupils are actively involved in planning gardening activity. Growing is well organised, with display boards indoors detailing what produce is growing where and a full annual time table of growing activity.
Pupils have visited both local food businesses and farms, and some of even been on a fishing trip which included catching and gutting fish then cooking with them.
Parents, grandparents and community members are involved in both cooking and growing activities. They work actively with the local community centre, with pupils providing food for events and also the school providing produce from the garden for recipe bags. Two of the pupils have designed and regularly collate a ‘cook at home’ bag which is available to parents. This contains produce from the school garden, supplemented where required with further organic produce and a recipe to turn this into a meal.
Brook Green has a very active relationship with nearby Ford Primary school, who they have worked with since Ford had no growing activity and little cooking – Ford is now a silver school. Pupils from the two schools work together on both gardening and cooking and now FFLP is embedded at Ford, they will continue the relationship but offer another school in the area the more involved level of practical support to begin their Food for Life journey.
Jeanette told us:
“Brook Green is an outstanding example of how the Food for Life Partnership can be embedded into a school's culture and really make a positive difference to pupils. Not only are the young people being provided with healthy, nutritious food, they are learning essential life-skills. We were also greatly impressed by the ongoing commitment to extend these benefits to parents, grandparents and the wider community.”
Jayne Maher, Assistant Head added;
“We’ve been working towards the Gold award for two years. It’s something we are all very committed to and a fantastic achievement."
We’d like to say a big congratulations to all the pupils, staff and volunteers at Brook Green for achieving their very well deserved Gold award.