With home schooling now well underway after the Easter holidays, Scotland’s leading food, farming and rural life education organisations have launched a new online education hub pulling family-friendly educational content into a one-stop shop for parents, teachers and pupils.
Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), The Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET), Food and Drink Federation (FDF) Scotland, The Rowett Institute and The National Museum of Rural Life Scotland are urging teachers, parents and pupils to visit the RHET Education Portal for age-related food, farming and the countryside resources which can be used for home schooling or just for fun.
“The portal has a range of resources and links to support food, farming and rural life learning at all Curriculum for Excellence levels”, said Sara Smith, Learning and Development Coordinator at RHET. “There are presentations, handouts, videos, activities and lots more to engage learners, all in one, easy to access place.”
“Although in the current situation face to face sessions are not possible, you can still bring us to your venue by requesting a pre-recorded video on a topic of your choice. You can make your request via the RHET website as well as accessing the online portal; essential for keeping teachers, pupils and parents in the know with valuable resources.”
The five food and education organisations usually work together to deliver food, STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and sustainability training sessions for teachers and fellow educators, however, these teacher training sessions, which take place across Scotland, have had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A key part of our work is to help teachers understand the relevance of STEM and sustainability across the farm to fork chain,” said Moira Stalker, Skills Manager, FDF Scotland. “In addition, we provide tools for classroom use and deliver up-to-date information on employer skills and progression pathways in this dynamic and exciting sector.
In addition to the RHET Education Portal, QMS have recently launched a video farm diary series to connect country kids with their city counterparts, supporting home schooling during lockdown.
With a new video launched each week, the series observes life through the eyes of under-16s living on farms across Scotland. The initiative aims to connect children with where their food comes from and those who produce it.
Alix Ritchie, Health and Education Manager at QMS said: “The current pandemic is highlighting to consumers how important and valuable our farming community and local food production chains are, so it’s important that we make the most of this opportunity to promote our world-class farming practices and our fantastic brands - Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and Specially Selected Pork.
To access the RHET Education Portal, visit: www.rhet.org.uk/teachers/resource-portal. The QMS video series, which can be viewed on QMS’s social media channels, will run throughout April and May and young people keen to tell their own farming story are encouraged to get involved by filming their own story using the #FarmKidDiaries hashtag and tagging @QualityMeatScotland on Facebook or @qmscotland on Twitter and Instagram. The best video, judged by QMS Chair Kate Rowell, will win £50 of Amazon vouchers.