The Kitchen Garden Project

Jamie Oliver’s Kitchen Garden Project is a set of resources that enables primary schools to really bring food skills to life. The project aims to teach children about food - what it is, where it comes from, and how it affects their bodies - whilst equipping them with valuable skills for life.

The project materials are designed to give teachers the confidence to captivate children through food education and to encourage an understanding of the natural progression from the garden to the kitchen. The materials are also designed to support core curriculum subjects including science, maths and literacy, through learning that is fun, interactive and inspiring.

Our core programming guides children through three levels of essential food education. Each academic year, the children will partake in core cookery lessons, developing fundamental knowledge and skills which provide ample opportunity to expand classroom learning.

Alongside these lessons sit an array of additional resources, including 16 additional activities and demonstrations focused around nutritional messages for kids.

The Kitchen Garden Project also includes the complete Fruit and Veg Programme, which offers more than 30 lesson materials focused on connecting children to seasonal produce. Each resource focuses on a different fresh fruit or vegetable and comes complete with simple Jamie Oliver recipes, as well as information, fun facts, and curriculum-linked supporting activities. Where possible, each resource includes a recipe option that does not involve heat so that children can get cooking without needing a fully equipped kitchen. These resources are designed to empower teachers to use the produce grown in the school garden, completing the cycle from seed to plate.

The Kitchen Garden Project aims to inspire schools across the country to get involved in food education in a practical way. Once learnt, a little bit of basic know how stays with you forever. 

© Matt Russell

In 2009, Jamie and his deputy Louise Holland visited the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation in Australia. Inspired by what they saw, Louise rallied support from charities and businesses to fund a pioneering, purpose-built pilot project at Orford Primary School in Suffolk.  In 2011, the foundation took on a second London-based pilot project at Rotherfield Primary School in Islington. These two pilot schools have served as strong examples of what is possible, inspiring the development of resources and materials, and expansion of the programme.

An additional 10 schools are joining the Kitchen Garden Project as pilots for the 2013-2014 school year. From there, our aim is for the resources and materials to be widely available to all schools in September 2014. 

© Andrew Montgomery

We want to create a community of schools, ranging from those just beginning their journey – planting a few simple fruits and vegetables in tubs and grow bags, or making simple salads in the classroom – to schools with teaching kitchens and abundant gardens. All of these schools serve as inspiring examples, whole heartedly embracing the hands-on style of learning that the Kitchen Garden Project promotes.

 

We are excited to announce that an additional ten schools will be joining the Kitchen Garden Project for the 2013-2014 school year, and an addition one hundred schools will join the Fruit and Veg Programme. Our pilot schools are intended to serve as strong examples for schools across the country, building the case for this style of interactive, hands-on learning before the curriculum changes go into effect in 2014.

 

Our aim is for the project to be widely available for all schools in September 2014. 

Our Learn your Fruit and Veg programme provides schools with a range of flexible resources designed to equip teachers with all they need to incorporate simple, hands-on food education into a regular school day.  This programme is able to stand on its own, offering a first step in food education for schools that are unable to commit to the full Kitchen Garden Project.

 

Our programme is made up of 32 different fresh fruit and vegetable cards, which provide teachers with the relevant information to teach children where fruit and veg come from and why they are so good for us. The materials include fun facts and engaging activities that link the learning to curriculum objectives, and come complete with a range of simple Jamie Oliver recipes. Where possible, each resource includes a no-cook and a cook option, so that children can get cooking without needing a fully equipped kitchen. 

As no two schools are completely the same, the resources can be adapted to work in all sorts of different ways. The idea is that children roll up their sleeves and get stuck in, smelling, touching and tasting fresh produce, whilst learning to prepare a simple recipe from scratch.

We will be piloting the Learn Your Fruit and Veg programme in 100 schools in the 2013-2014 school year. To get your school involved, simply email: kitchengarden@jamieoliver.org