Food and wellbeing
The Australian Curriculum addresses learning about food and wellbeing in two ways:
- in content descriptions as in Health and Physical Education (HPE), Science and Technologies, noting that in HPE there is a food and nutrition focus area and in Design and Technologies there is a technologies context (food specialisations)
- where it is identified in content elaborations in other learning areas, such as Mathematics.
The scope of learning in food and wellbeing reflects relevant content from across the Australian Curriculum.
The Australian Curriculum Connection: Food and wellbeing provides a framework for all young Australians to understand and value the importance of good nutrition for health and wellbeing both across learning areas and specifically within the Technologies learning area as a technologies context in core learning across Foundation to Year 8 and as additional learning opportunities offered by states and territories in Years 9–10.
The food and wellbeing connection is presented in bands of schooling. In Foundation – Year 6, the connection is described as nutrition, health and wellbeing. In Years 7–10, it is described as home economics.
There are increasing community concerns about food issues, including the nutritional quality of food and the environmental impact of food manufacturing processes. Students need to understand the importance of a variety of foods, sound nutrition principles and food preparation skills when making food decisions to help better prepare them for their future lives. Students should progressively develop knowledge and understanding about the nature of food and food safety, and how to make informed and appropriate food preparation choices when experimenting with and preparing food in a sustainable manner.
The Design and Technologies food specialisations technologies context includes the application of nutrition principles (as described in Health and Physical Education) and knowledge about the characteristics and properties of food to food selection and preparation; and contemporary technology-related food issues.
When connecting the curriculum to plan a program of teaching and learning for nutrition, health and wellbeing (F–6) or home economics (7–10), teachers draw on content from across the Australian Curriculum, in particular Health and Physical Education, and Design and Technologies.
In implementing projects with a focus on food, care must be taken with regard to food safety and specific food allergies that may result in anaphylactic reactions. The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy has published guidelines for prevention of anaphylaxis in schools, preschools and childcare. Some states and territories have their own specific guidelines that should be followed. When state and territory curriculum authorities integrate the Australian Curriculum into local courses, they will include more specific advice on safety. For further information about relevant guidelines, contact your state or territory curriculum authority.
To maximise the effectiveness of any nutrition, health and wellbeing or home economics program delivered in schools, learning should be sequential. The dimensions of this learning are:
- individuals, families and communities
- nutrition and food specialisations
- materials (textiles) and technologies specialisations (Years 7–10 home economics only).
Within each of these dimensions the following concepts can be addressed:
- Becoming independent – Developing independence by making decisions and taking action
- Connecting with others – Understanding how to interact and live with others and understanding how decisions impact on others
- Taking actions towards preferred futures – Understanding of, and sense of responsibility for, decisions and actions that promote preferred futures
- Creating designed solutions – Creating designed solutions using design processes and production skills
These dimensions of learning have been developed in consultation with Home Economics Institute of Australia (HEIA).