Reducing food waste in schools isn’t all about bins. It’s about connecting children with the value of food and understanding where it comes from and how to use food effectively to save money and the planet. Here at Love Food Hate Waste Scotland, we have developed a range of activities and ideas for use both in and outside the classroom. The relevant Curriculum for Excellence Experiences & Outcomes are outlined at the start of each section.
For Primary School aged learners, we have 9 lessons in total with accompanying PowerPoints and posters that cover the core facts about food waste in Scotland and the key ways to reduce waste at home. There are a broad range of themes covered from World War 2 rationing, investigative journalism, and recipes in different countries, to a storage song and portioning poem. Download the pack for yourself from the Zero Waste Scotland website here.
For Secondary School pupils, specifically S1-S2, there are 5 suggested ways of incorporating food waste into the curriculum, including:
- A Science lesson that looks at enzymatic browning of apples and incorporates STEM principles to look at why food goes off faster in different conditions.
- A Maths lesson where pupils work out the carbon footprint of spaghetti bolognaise with data from Zero Waste Scotland’s carbon metric.
- An RME lesson that looks at the moral issue of food waste in our society and how different people respond to it.
- A Home Economic lesson with recipes for using up leftovers and working with food effectively.
- A Literature lesson that uses persuasive writing to explore how to encourage action and behaviour change on food waste.
You can download all the Secondary School lessons and PowerPoints here.
For a whole school activity why not get your pupils to take the lead at measuring and reducing waste during lunch time as Waste Warriors? There is also a whole school Waste Warrior lesson to help you get this up and running, as well as a Monitoring Toolkit with all the forms and information you need.
What have other schools done in the past?
- Check out what St Bridget’s Primary School in North Ayrshire are up to on their Twitter account. The P7s have been Waste Warriors for the last two years now and there’s even a ‘zero waste at home challenge’ to get parents tweeting in pictures of their clean plates.
- Belmont Academy hosted a number of pupil-led assemblies with their Secondary pupils and had a competition to reduce food waste in the school canteen.
- Our Lady of the Missions Primary School in Glasgow created their own 'Be a winner, not a binner' campaign jointly with the catering staff, linking to local growing projects and their own Food for Thought funded growing activity.
- Colliston Primary School pupils wrote letters to parents, carers and councillors explaining what they had learned and asking for specific solutions.
- Gigha Primary School ran a soup making workshop culminating in a 'diner's den' competition where the best soup was judged by members of the community. Soup is a great way to use up leftovers from the fridge!
- Taynuilt Primary School used the Monitoring Toolkit to record waste during lunchtime and created 'Love Your Leftovers' pizzas with different toppings.
- Alloway Primary School incorporated their 'Rights Respecting' work into their food waste activities, exploring what the right to food means and linking it to wider social issues. They also interviewed teachers from their partnership school in Bandwe, Malawi, to get an international perspective on the issue.