Students from Kindergarten to Year 6 develop their understanding of ‘paddock to plate’ through their engagement in the school’s Kitchen Garden Program. Giving students the opportunity to learn all aspects of gardening, recycling and composting in the school’s extensive vegetable gardens lets them not only learn about sustainability but also how to save by using ingredients that are in season. Students use ingredients harvested from the garden or selected from seasonal produce in the shops to create delicious recipes with their classmates in our modern, commercial kitchen. They grow, cook, eat and share delicious food whilst learning lifelong skills including preparing and cooking meals, cleaning and hygiene, budgeting, healthy food choices and working as a team. Dietary requirements and food allergies impact on many of our students’ and their families’ daily lives. Menu planning and education ensures our program is inclusive and all students develop an understanding of safe food practices.
The Bertram Kitchen Garden Program embeds the ‘Pleasurable Food Education Philosophy’ of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation.
- Pleasurable food education emphasises the flavours as well as the health benefits of fresh, seasonal, delicious food.
- Dishes cooked reflect the vegetables, herbs and fruits grown, season-by-season, by the children in their organic gardens, and also reflect the Australian Dietary Guidelines.
- Kitchen educators emphasise balance and moderation, and endorse the concept of preparing fruit-based desserts ‘sometimes-only’.
- Pleasurable food education is designed to be fully integrated into the curriculum or learning framework as it offers infinite possibilities to reinforce literacy, numeracy, science, cultural studies and all aspects of environmental sustainability.
- Pleasurable food education delivers observable social benefits to all children, including those with special needs.
- Pleasurable food education encourages critical thinking, teamwork, an understanding of cause and effect, and increased levels of observation.
At Bertram we understand how valuable family time is and how bonding over a meal can create meaningful memories. We’ve created Pancake & Toastie Wednesdays where students and their families can sit down to a hot fresh pancake or toasted sandwich and milo before school with the ease of knowing there will be no dishes or clean-up and no rush to get to school.
Year 5 & 6 students can apply to join the Kitchen Committee. Members of this committee attend extra kitchen classes, learning catering skills and applying them during school events involving Bertram Primary School families and the wider community. The students in our Kitchen Committee are invaluable helpers on Pancake & Toastie Wednesdays; assist at Breakfast Club; and help produce and sell our range of homemade jams and pickles.
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Parents and community members are very welcome to volunteer in the kitchen or garden.