Dedicated Kitchen and Garden Specialist staff employed by the school, teach the classes; working alongside teachers and parent and community volunteers. This gives students guidance in both the kitchen and garden to complete complex tasks.

We are focused on ensuring the program is enjoyable and fun for all involved. Work in the garden and kitchen is productive and practical rather than theoretical. The program is embedded into the ethos and life of the school. Specialist staff provide students with creative curriculum links across all KLA’s with what is happening in the classroom and classroom teachers link what they do in the classroom with what is happening in the garden and the kitchen.

Ensuring the success of this essential link, we have a Program Co-ordinator from the teaching staff to assist with the integration of the program with the classroom curriculum. Additionally, class teachers accompany their classes to each of the garden classes, assisting the garden specialist.

Garden classes have commenced in 2013 for K-6.

What happens in the garden classes?

Students learn all about the planting, growing and harvesting of food crops. Some of the knowledge they will gain includes:

  • A practical understandings of the seasons, weather and environmental issues
  • How to build and maintain an organic garden
  • The importance of healthy soil, and find out how to make and use compost
  • The joys and rewards of working in a group and achieving shared goals

Some of the things they do in the garden classes include:

  • Learning how to carry and use tools safely
  • Soil testing
  • Making compost, worm tea and worm towers
  • Digging holes
  • Data collection
  • Propagation
  • Growing plants seeds and cuttings
  • Sowing seeds
  • Airing seedlings
  • Saving seed for future planting
  • Seed depth
  • Making supports for plants (e.g.: teepees, stakes, string)
  • Companion planting
  • Harvest fruit and vegetables
  • Wash and trim fruit and vegetables
  • How to encourage helpful insects into the garden
  • How to deal with not so helpful insects
  • Watering the garden
  • Snail hunts and bug patrol
  • Getting a wheelbarrow license
  • Pruning plants
  • Collecting eggs from chickens
  • Making scarecrows
  • Art for the garden – sculptures, mosaics
  • Making signs for the garden

There is enormous potential to develop further curriculum links with the program such as:

  • Harvesting
  • Composting
  • Worms
  • Mini beasts and micro-organisms
  • Propagation and seed depth
  • Plant anatomy
  • Identification and families
  • Biodiversity
  • Care of plants and animals in the garden
  • Natural systems and cycles (water, carbon, seasons), watering techniques
  • Bugs
  • Citizenship
  • Geometry, calculation and data collection.

What happens in the kitchen classes?

The kitchen class is the culmination of the entire cycle of planting, growing and harvesting. In the kitchen classes students learn to cook using the ingredients that they have grown and produced; and where they share that delicious food with their classmates, teachers and volunteers.

The key objective of the kitchen class is to encourage students to take a broad and active interest in food – where it comes from, how it’s grown, the sensory nuances of taste and smell, and the fun and adventure involved in experimenting with unexpected or new foods.

The kitchen classroom is also a place to learn how enjoyable it can be to work together, sharing the tasks and the rewards of cooking, whilst experiencing the social importance of the table.

Kitchen classes are interactive, inclusive and enticing. The Kitchen Specialist acts as a roving facilitator, coaching students in the development of new skills and helping them to gain confidence and build autonomy.

Children also learn valuable kitchen skills:

  • Kitchen safety
  • How to use a sharp knife
  • How to peel, chop, sieve, mix, steam, poach, sauté and grill fresh food following a variety of delicious recipes
  • Pasta making
  • Composting vegie scraps
  • Using kitchen appliances – mixers, blenders, ovens, stovetops, dishwashers
  • Setting tables
  • Arranging flowers