Well-known for BNF Healthy Eating Week, the British Nutrition Foundation is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The Countryside Classroom partner was established in 1967 to educate the public in nutrition; develop the training and education for those involved in training or educating others; and advance the study of, and research into, nutrition.
Celebratory activities include Our future food: a challenge for schools to describe what they think food and nutrition will look like in the next 50 years – how will our food be produced? what will our diet look like? how will it be cooked and served? Schools can email or tweettheir ideas and BNF will feature the best. The Foundation has also launched a series of blogs this year. Written by their expert staff of nutrition scientists, educators and scientific advisors, BNF will be blogging monthly from April about all things food and nutrition.
BNF has also produced several new and updated resources this year, including Eat Like A Champ (ELAC)
a free, six-lesson healthy eating programme for UK pupils age 9-10 years, with printed toolkits available for the first 3,000 classes to register, and the Eatwell Challenge, a new activity which tasks the player to sort 20 randomly generated foods into the correct place on the Eatwell Guide.
Skelton Grange Environment Centre in south Leeds is one of thousands of community groups across the UK to have benefitted from Tesco Bags of Help funding. They used it for their Bed & Breakfast for Bees project creating homes and wildflower-rich food supplies for bees and other pollinating insects.
Since the programme started in 2015, over 1100 schools have also been awarded grants, funded from the 5p carrier-bag levy, including Fleet Wood Lane Primary School in Spalding who added a trim trail to their playground and Little Oaks Pre-School in Frimley, Surrey who also added a trim trail and nature garden. Altogether, schools and educational bodies across the UK have benefitted to the tune of over £8.3million.
The number of projects funded every two months has recently been increased and there are new funding amounts with £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 up for grabs. As well as continuing to fund the development of and activity in outdoor spaces such as allotments and community gardens, grants will now be available to fund the purchase of equipment and for improvements to community buildings. Groups looking to hold seasonal events and activities such as a Christmas lights can also apply for funding through the programme.
In March a BBC School Report survey showed 70 percent of 11-16 year olds have experienced one or more negative feelings in the last 12 months, ranging from feeling upset and unhappy to feeling anxious, frightened or unsafe. Wellbeing of the students is a priority at Sybil Andrews Academy, in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, and the Green Light Trust has been running nurture Forest School sessions with them for the last two terms. Each week small groups of students head to a local wood where they have been able to build self esteem and resilience while learning woodland skills and crafts.
Outdoor Classroom Day celebrates outdoor learning and play, and inspires schools everywhere to make outdoor learning and play part of the every day. Teachers can sign up their class or their whole school to spend at least one lesson outdoors on Thursday, 18 May. If you’re new to the whole idea, then use their Get involved guide for advice and inspiration, and give it a go. If outdoor learning and play are already part of your normal week, why not use the day to celebrate what you’re doing and encourage other schools in your area to join in?
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