Core competences for children and young people aged 5 to 16 years: A framework of skills and knowledge around food, diet and physical activity

Background

In 2007, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) launched Core Food Competences for children aged 5-16 years, developed in consultation with the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF). The competences set out a progressive framework of skills and knowledge which comprise essential building blocks around the themes of diet and health, consumer awareness, cooking and food safety for children and young people. These competences have been widely used, as they provided consistency and a focal point. Uses included an audit tool for teachers mapping out lessons, a guide for developers creating resources for schools and a framework to support curricular change and examination specifications.

Since the original launch of the competences, there have been changes in the curricula around the UK, new education initiatives and policy. It is therefore important that these competences are still fit-for-purpose to fully support teachers and learners.

Updated competences

BNF, along with Public Health England (PHE), FSA Northern Ireland, FSA Scotland and the Welsh Government, initiated a review of the original framework to ensure that it is up-to-date and reflects key areas of priority for children and young people in relation to their education, life skills and health. The updated framework, which includes changes in light of a consultation in January 2014, is now published (see document below). The competences now include physical activity, as well as an enhanced consumer awareness section.

The Core Competences:

  • represent core skills and knowledge around the themes of Diet (food and drink), Consumer Awareness, Cooking (Food Preparation and Handling skills), Food Safety and Active Lifestyles (physical activity) and provide an essential benchmark;
  • are progressive and cumulative from one age phase to the next;
  • could be met at home, school or through other activities;
  • show essential knowledge and capability – they are neither a curriculum nor an examination specification;
  • reflect UK-wide practice;
  • aim to help children and young people to develop the skills and knowledge to make and implement healthy food choices.

The Core Competences can be used as:

  • an audit tool to help plan lessons;
  • support curriculum and qualification development;
  • a guide for those developing resources for children and young people.

 

 

Roy Ballam, Education Programme Manager at BNF said: “From a schools perspective, the Core Competences help to unpack the curriculum, enabling teachers to plan appropriate lessons for the age and ability of the pupils they teach. They help to set out progression for food education, acting as a food and nutrition curriculum for all children and young people throughout the UK. BNF is delighted to be part of this extremely worthwhile initiative.”

 

Notes

The original Core food competences can be found at http://www.food.gov.uk/scotland/scotnut/scotteachtools/competencies/#.UtT6uvRdWd8

Pupil facing resources were also launched in 2008, helping to engage children and young people with the competences (Food Route) http://www.food.gov.uk/scotland/scotnut/scotteachtools/foodroute/#.UtT6zfRdWd8

In 2012, BNF used the framework concept to develop a set of competences for children and young people in Europe, extending them to include physical activity and energy balance. http://www.europeanfoodframework.eu

 

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