The Foundation’s training team has travelled all around Australia this year, delivering customised professional development for both schools and early learning centres.
The professional development days were tailored to various needs – from a session for staff at a kindergarten and whole-staff kitchen garden training days at schools to inducting kitchen garden program volunteers.
There was even a session for a community in a remote mining town.
The whole-staff professional development day held in January at St Ita’s School in Brisbane was a fun way for educators (and our training team!) to start off the new school year.
The large group of educators split into two for hands-on kitchen and garden sessions in the morning, then regrouped to share a delicious alfresco lunch. Later, the educators formed year level planning groups to look at ways to integrate their kitchen garden program into the curriculum.
An extra group was also formed to create a steering committee of staff, teachers and administrators to advance the development of their kitchen garden program.
After the training day, the Foundation received this exciting feedback from St Ita’s School:
“What a positive impact your visit to us made. We had a two-fold objective for the day: one was to show everyone how the garden and kitchen can be used within the regular curriculum, and the second was to build up our team cohesiveness. I can happily and honestly say that the day fulfilled both objectives beautifully.”
January, a popular time for schools to hold customised professional development, also saw the training team visit Melbourne’s Eastwood Primary School to run an induction for volunteers in the school’s kitchen garden program.
In the hands-on session, volunteers and aspiring volunteers learned how to guide students in garden and kitchen activities, and gained valuable tips on safety and how to ‘slow down’ the pace of activities.
Also in January, the training team ran an all-staff professional development day for 38 educators at Thomas Chirnside Primary School.
The Years 3–6 teachers at Thomas Chirnside, who were kicking off the school year running kitchen classes with their students, took part in a cooking session. And the Year F–2 teachers got their hands dirty in the garden, in a session designed to give them ideas for integrating garden activities with classroom learning.
When asked what they enjoyed the most about the training, participants responded:
“The enthusiasm of the presenters and the hands-on approach. The inclusion of all staff was great.”
“It gave everyone a great experience to start the year with positive aspirations.”
In April, the training team headed to Melbourne’s Fordham Ave Kindergarten whose staff wanted to gain confidence cooking with young children. The Foundation team ran a hands-on cooking session with all the staff at the centre to help them develop the confidence and skills to successfully cook with the children.
The customised professional development day also reinforced the importance of connecting gardening, cooking and sharing experiences, so children see the seed-to-plate cycle of fresh produce.
In June, the training team travelled to the remote South Australian mining town of Roxby Downs to conduct a professional development day with a community engagement slant. The PD day supported staff from the local school and early learning centres, and representatives from the community to start kitchen garden programs, for the wellbeing of the whole community.
Scroll through the gallery of images above to see the training days in action.
This is just a taste of the customised professional development offered by the Foundation’s experienced training team.
- Are you looking for support and inspiration for your school or centre’s kitchen garden program? For more information, go to the Customised Professional Development page on our website or contact us on 13000 SAKGF (13000 72543) and firstname.lastname@example.org
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