Pupils at Portavogie Primary School in County Down, under the guidance of their Head Teacher Mrs Stitt, were some of the first children to work with the new pack which is currently being delivered to over 870 schools in Northern Ireland.
Visiting their local harbour in Portavogie with Sam Mawhinney of Denholm Fish Selling Co. and Dr Lynn Gilmore from Seafish, students had the opportunity to learn about cooking and eating different species of fish.
The packs have been developed by Fish is the Dish, the consumer and education arm of Seafish, and aims to teach children about the importance of eating a variety of seafood as part of a healthy, balanced diet. The resource supports primary school teachers to deliver healthy eating lessons through a variety of cross-curricular activities, games and recipes.
Dr Lynn Gilmore of Seafish Northern Ireland said: “Understanding the basics of cookery and healthy eating is so important, and it’s vital that we support teachers to deliver these messages. The packs have gone down a storm here at Portavogie, and we hope all schools use this opportunity to teach children about food and nutrition.”
Packs have been sent directly to over 870 primary schools in Northern Ireland, with information on much loved local species such as langoustines (Dublin Bay prawns) and scallops. Sam Mawhinney of Denholm Fish Selling Co. and Governor of Portavogie primary school was on hand to help deliver the lesson, and demonstrate the different ways to teach children about food and where it comes from.
Sam said: “We’re absolutely delighted that these packs have been launched here, the children really enjoyed using the resource and visiting the harbour. It is vital that we educate the next generation of consumers about the importance of eating seafood, and I’d encourage other members of industry to engage with their local schools. I know they’ll find it as rewarding as I did.”
The packs were tailor-made for the curriculum in Northern Ireland, and developed in collaboration with the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF), the independent authority on nutrition advice. The pack contains a teacher’s guide including curriculum links and six lesson plans, workbooks, stickers and posters for children to use at school and home. It is supported by online resources, including easy recipes, peer-to-peer learning via cooking videos, cross-curricular worksheets, presentations and interactive whiteboard activities.
All resources are available to download for free from www.fishisthedish.co.uk.
Roy Ballam, Education Programme Manager at the British Nutrition Foundation said: “Eating two portions of fish a week is one of our eight healthy eating messages, and it’s really vital that the message starts in school. It’s so important that children understand that there are different types of fish that they can prepare, cook and eat, and that it is part of a healthy varied diet. This pack has given Seafish the opportunity to provide teachers in Northern Ireland with new materials to engage children at school and to give them a healthy start to life.”