AHDB education programmes support home learners with food and farming resources

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board’s (AHDB’s) funded education schemes reached more students than ever in 2020, as the nation took to home learning in response to the pandemic.

Last year, 459,609 educators downloaded just over 1.4 million free resources and recipes from the Food – a fact of life (FFL) website.

Delivered in partnership with the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF), the programme aims to continue to highlight the importance of food and nutrition education, with support for teachers across the UK.

The remote learning hub on the FFL website released new waves of content throughout the 2019/20 academic year.

As a result, there are now more than 650 resources, activities and ideas available online, with extra efforts made to meet the demands that in-home learning has brought on both educators and parents.

‘School closures helped boost the programme’

Elsa Healey, senior education manager at AHDB, said: “School closures last year helped boost the education programme.

We are delighted to see both teachers and parents making use of the huge breadth of content as well as teachers benefiting from a range of online training available.

“We will continue to provide resources that can not only keep children interested but also keep them learning about where their food comes from.”

Industry-wide initiative Countryside Classroom, which is headed up by Linking Environment and Farming (LEAF) and backed by the AHDB, was also well visited during the 2019/20 academic year.

There was a 77% increase in new users, with over 158,000 people making use of the educational resources on the website.

AHDB partners across industry have rallied behind Countryside Classroom, with 32 different organisations committing their support.

The project reached 3.6 million people, benefitting from an appearance on Countryfile and appearing in a range of online articles, as well as social media support from industry.

GYOP project

In addition to this, despite the current school closures, AHDB Education together with the potato industry have had a positive response to the Grow Your Own Potatoes (GYOP) project.

15,300 potato growing kits have been requested by primary schools, with key messaging reaching more than 400,000 children nationwide.

AHDB’s head of education Roz Reynolds said: “It is not so well known within industry that AHDB hosts, funds and supports an array of education programmes and initiatives.

The AHDB continues to support the nation’s educators in providing evidence-based information about food and farming to school children.

“To enable our future generations to make informed decisions about the food they buy, cook and eat, an understanding of farming, food production and its role within a healthy diet is really important,” she concluded.