Over 475 Peterborough school children learn field to fork with Kids Country
Kids Country, the East of England Agricultural Society’s education initiative, was thrilled to bring their fully booked Breakfast Week, sponsored by Co-op Food, to Peterborough primary schools Folksworth C of E Primary School, Welland Academy, and Gladstone Primary Academy this week for the first time.
Over the three days, over 475 Key Stage 1 and 2 children took part in hands-on workshops covering everything from sausage making with free-range rare breed pork, to making pancakes, and from the ‘metre square farm’ to learning about what makes a healthy breakfast with sponsors Central England Co-op in a series of teamwork and communication centred activities. At Gladstone Primary Academy, the Kids Country team was thrilled to launch a new activity, the ‘oat zone’. This is a new alternative to the usual sausage making zone to accommodate different dietary and cultural requirements, and offers children the opportunity to explore the journey of the humble oat, from field to breakfast bowl; children gained an understanding of the health benefits of oats as well as seeing how overnight oats are made and trying two sugar-free recipes.
The Breakfast Week events focus on the importance of using locally, seasonally produced food in our diets as much as possible to minimise food miles and promote healthy eating, whilst understanding the role of the farmer to bring that food from field to fork.
Michelle Norbury, headteacher of Folksworth C of E Primary School said: “Children need to know where their food comes from so that they can make informed decisions in the future and support our local economy, as well as having that understanding of all the processes so that we value the food that we have.”
Sandra Lauridsen, Education Manager for Kids Country, said: “We are passionate about helping children to understand food, farming and the countryside in the East of England, where we are surrounded by some of the most productive farmland and producers, our local ‘farming superheroes’. These children are the consumers of the future and to understand that food comes from a farm, not the supermarket, and the process of producing that food, is essential to making better informed consumer decisions. We are particularly excited to be working with these Peterborough schools for the first time and bringing the field to fork journey into an urban environment.”
Central England Co-op member and Community Relations Officer Jenny Hurst said: “We are delighted to once again be supporting Kids Country and Breakfast Week following the success of the partnership in previous years in raising awareness of the health and nutritional benefits of breakfast.
“This fits in perfectly with The Co-operative and its long tradition of giving back to the community.
Jenny continued: “We welcome the opportunity to make a real difference to the lives and education of local children and our Healthy Choices workshops have proven to be really informative and rewarding for those children who have taken part.”
Kids Country chairman and local farmer Tom Martin said: “For me, it’s also really exciting that Breakfast Week also fits in with key elements of the national curriculum from a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) point of view, and that children from all backgrounds, and especially from city-based schools like Welland Academy, are shown that there are amazing career options in the agricultural industry, whether that’s in science, engineering, digital technology, or hands-on on the farm.
Sandra added: “We are proud of the strong links that we have with schools, farms and food producers across the East of England, and we would like to thank our main sponsors Co-op Food for donating eggs, milk, fresh fruit and vegetables, and much more that they donated to make the day a success. We must also thank Bartlemas Farm, Bedfordshire for providing excellent, free range, rare breed sausage meat, Marriages Feeds for all of the flour for our pancakes, and our chairman Tom Martin and local farmer James Burgess for bringing their great big tractors along – the children loved them!”
Please visit https://www.eastofengland.org.uk/all-events for more information and to see the full list of events.