We have been working in partnership with some of our supporters to develop a brand new project for secondary schools entitled Conscious Consumers. With funding from the Chadacre Agricultural Trust, we joined forces with Jenni Rant and Sami Stebbings from the Science, Art and Writing (SAW) Trust, Sam Fox from the Youth STEMM Award (YSA) and Gaina Dunsire from Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF) to design a project for students to explore topical issues that span boundaries of agriculture, food and society.

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We invite teachers to download the PowerPoint presentations and activity documents to share with students. While the resources were made with year 9 PSHE students in mind, we feel the project could be a valuable addition to several areas of the curriculum.

Students should work through the three topics and record their thoughts in the project workbook and are then encouraged to think of a research question to explore one of the topics in more detail.  For example, if they were particularly interested in the topic on food miles, they may like to do a study on the food miles of ingredients in their kitchens or used by the school canteen. The workbook has a few example questions to give them inspiration.

Schools that take part in the launch of this pilot project have the additional bonus of being able to share students challenge project outcomes to be in with a chance of winning prizes for the school.

In this time of remote learning and teaching we encourage teachers to use the resources in a way that is best for them and their students, and we would be interested to know the different approaches schools take.  We would also like to find out what the students think about the project and so there are feedback forms to download that we would very much appreciate receiving back to help refine the project.

Here is one school’s approach and some early feedback:

Teacher Stephanie Grant from the Norwich School has started a group of year 9’s off on the Conscious Consumers project and also a group of sixth formers.  The idea being that once the year 9 students have worked through the activities and decided on research questions that they’d like to investigate, Stephanie will put them into small groups to carry out the challenge part of the project, with each group being assigned a sixth former to act as a mentor.

One of the sixth formers who has worked through the activities provided some excellent early feedback;

“This morning I worked through and completed the conscious consumers activity and found the whole thing thoroughly interesting and enjoyable. During the time I went through the power points, researched, wrote notes and watched the videos, I learnt more about nutrition, consumption and its environmental impacts than I ever have before.

I also plan on completing the challenge of producing some sort of communication material, possibly in the form of a podcast”.

We look forward to seeing how the year 9’s progress with the project and develop their research skills to complete the challenge!

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If you need any assistance with the resources,  wish to discuss the project or to notify us that your school is taking part, email Jenni.rant@jic.ac.uk

This project wouldn't be possible without the support of the following organisations:

  • The SAW Trust
  • Youth STEMM Award
  • LEAF (Linking Education and Farming)
  • The Chadacre Agricultural Trust
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