Young people need to understand the importance of local food - and making food culture school culture is central to this - so we've started to establish the Wakefield District IE Schools Network to allow local teachers,teaching assistants and interested parents to come together to bring food growing and cooking more onto the curriculum and to develop better outdoor learning facilities at their schools across the district.
If you tick one of these boxes then you can sign up as a member of our Facebook group to share ideas and to keep up with the training events we'll be organising over the coming months.
When it comes to local food and growing in schools we take our inspiration from what Incredible Edible Todmorden have achieved in their town.
They’ve developed links with the Food for Life Partnership (FFLP) who are all about changing food culture in schools. The High School has achieved the Bronze Award for Food for Life, and all the primary schools in the town are now part of a cluster which allows them to benefit from support and training from FFLP.
Every school in Todmorden is actively involved in growing food. Each year now in the annual Agricultural Show children let their imaginations run wild, growing food in unusual containers for their own inspiring competition. The grounds of the High School are the home of the fish farm, and currently there’s a student-promoted project to keep chickens so they can have their own eggs.
They’ve also facilitated free staff training through the FFLP for primary school teachers in Todmorden around local food culture and have supported the start of parents groups in each school – you can see the evidence of parents getting stuck in.
They are now the first town in the country to have a town-wide schools orchard where all the primary schools have fruit trees planted at the High School and partner trees in their own grounds.
Their dream is that all the schools in Todmorden become living learning landscapes where children receive an education that will provide them with the skills and knowledge they need to live a healthy, happy and sustainable future and that some of these children might just be inspired to set up business locally around local food production in the future.
Todmorden may have a head start but it’s our dream that one day here in Wakefield we may catch up with and even surpass what Todmorden have achieved – now that would be truly Incredible.