The Heights Junior School is part of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program. There are more than 800 schools around Australia that are currently in partnership with the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden foundation.
Our involvement began in 2009, as one of the first 10 South Australian Schools in the pilot program. Our school designed and created the garden that students continue to maintain all year round. Students use the produce grown in the garden to create delicious meals in cooking classes. The program focuses on seasonal food education, from seed to plate. We look at where food comes from and how to grow it organically, then how to cook and eat it. The Heights School links a garden, a kitchen and the curriculum to deliver food on the table for all to share.
The garden is well established and supplies the kitchen with seasonal food daily, as well as the senior Home Ec department weekly. Excess produce goes to the wider community including cafés, students, volunteers and teachers. Market stalls are held occasionally to assist with fundraising and community inclusion and development.
Classes from years 3 to 5 work in the garden weekly with Thomas Hayward and Amanda Pryor who are our garden specialists. Students are involved in planting seeds, harvesting, weeding, creating and working with compost, discovering insects and other animals, understanding plant life cycles, working in groups and collaborating with each other, working safely with tools and a range of other garden related activities. Students look after our chickens by refreshing the water, feeding them and collecting the eggs. Many parents are volunteers in the garden sessions and during our working bees.
Classes from years 3 to 5 also participate in cooking sessions with Gail Van Ryswyk who is our kitchen specialist. Here children learn about kitchen safety, using a range of kitchen equipment, preparing and serving food, nutritious eating, working in groups and collaborating with others. Students are encouraged to manage their time so that they are able to cook, set the table, share their food and clean their kitchen area as well. We have some wonderful volunteers who participate in kitchen lessons each week. The volunteers each help a group of students to understand and create the recipe.
If you would like to volunteer in the kitchen or the garden or have any inquiries please contact Thomas Hayward, SAKGP Coordinator through The Heights School front office
To find out more about the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program, please visit this link. http://www.kitchengardenfoundation.org.au/
Here are some of the recipes that the students have used in class: