Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

You are here:

Guideline 5: Connecting school food programmes to the New Zealand Curriculum

A school food programme and the school curriculum can be mutually reinforcing and provide opportunities for children to have learning experiences that are interesting, relevant, and real. This is a key step in taking a whole of school approach with your programme.

Why link your programme to the curriculum?

Reinforcing your school food programme and nutrition policy with the curriculum provides great opportunities for children to develop life skills. The following are just a few examples:

Put learning into real contexts:

  • Science – students can analyse the sugar contents of drinks and the composition of food, the way ingredients chemically and physically react during cooking, and plant biology for growing vegetables.
  • Mathematics – calculating ingredient ratios, budgeting, serving sizes as a proportion of recommended daily intake.
  • Literacy – reading and writing recipes and understanding nutrition terminology.
  • Social studies – understanding the different traditions around food in other cultures.

Critical thinking

Students learn to interpret and critique messages and advertising about healthy eating and sustainability.

Managing self

Students learn to make their own informed decisions about food and nutrition; develop creativity and leadership; experience accomplishment; gain more control over their own diet and nutrition by learning to prepare, cook, and serve healthy food.

Relating to others

Students eat together; learn to recognise diverse experiences and values about food preparation and eating; share; take turns; and be able to influence the eating patterns of others in their environment.

Participating and contributing

Students learn to help with food preparation and distribution; planting, maintaining and harvesting school gardens; planning food programmes and menus; working with others in the community; and developing leadership.

Food and nutrition resources

Learning materials and programmes are available to support learning about food and nutrition at all curriculum levels, from new entrants to senior secondary.

Ideas for units of learning developed by the Ministry of Education are in:

Focus on Food: Hauora ā kai Thinking Critically about Food and Nutrition:

PDF icon. Level 2 - Health and Physical Education (PDF, 1 MB)

PDF icon. Level 3 - Health and Physical Education (PDF, 766 KB)

PDF icon. Level 4 - Health and Physical Education (PDF, 867 KB)

Growing and Learning with 5+ A Day has been developed in conjunction with teachers and aligns with the New Zealand Curriculum supporting health and physical education, literacy, numeracy, and science through practical learning experiences. It involves practical classroom or other activities that are supported by differentiated resource sheets. Lessons include cross-curricular links, achievement objectives, strands and appropriate learning objectives. This teaching resource can be incorporated in short to long term planning.

Growing healthy food on-site is a further opportunity to provide authentic learning opportunities for students and that also supports a food in schools programme. Growing kai in schools sustainably is supported through initiatives such as Enviro-schoolsGarden to Table, and Health Promoting Schools.