Garden to Table is a successful garden and kitchen programme run in schools throughout the country. The aim is to introduce New Zealand primary and intermediate school students to the joy of fresh, seasonal produce they have grown, harvested, cooked and shared in their own school, with the help of peers, volunteers and teachers.
The students become involved in all aspects of gardening in an environmentally sustainable garden, cooking and then enjoying a delicious, seasonal meal they have produced themselves. Students’ knowledge, gained by being engaged in both the garden and kitchen, is taken back to their classroom where it is reinforced in their day-to-day learning. These new learning threads are then picked up by the classroom teacher and woven through the curriculum as a whole. Comprehensive curriculum resources managed through a GTT members only website, further support and connect these learnings.
We piloted this programme in term four of 2015 and since then have rolled this programme out to all of our Waipuna (Middle School) year 3/4 students.
The GTT programme can be adapted by schools to meet their own community needs and available resource levels. However, there are some key aspects fundamental to the successful delivery of the programme that will be expected to be visible in all GTT schools:
- Hands-on-learning – students learn by being actively involved in hands-on lessons in the kitchen and garden
- Co-operative learning – students work with the specialists, classroom teachers, volunteers, and their peers on all aspects of looking after the garden to grow and harvest produce, and in the kitchen to prepare and present food
- Valuing nutrition – students use fresh, seasonal produce from the school garden to make delicious, nutritious food
- Hygiene and safety practices – students learn garden and kitchen hygiene and how to use garden and kitchen equipment safely
- Using standard equipment – students are encouraged and taught to use standard garden and kitchen equipment (including sharp knives) in a safe, small-group environment
- Developing life-long skills – students repeat basic cooking and gardening skills ensuring they develop life-long skills enabling them to look after their own wellbeing and the wellbeing of others
- Experiencing food – students are encouraged and supported to try new foods and experience all the pleasure, flavour and texture food has to offer
- Enriching learning – students use their experiences in the GTT programme to enrich their other learning in a number of curriculum areas including reading, writing, mathematics, science, social responsibility and technology
- Sharing – students experience the joy, pride and pleasure of sitting down to share a meal with their peers, volunteers and teachers – a meal they have created themselves, all the way from the garden to the table. They then take responsibility and cooperate with each other to clean up.
For more information on this programme, please visit www.gardentotable.org.nz.
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