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Cwmfelin Primary School’s community food scheme grows from strength to strength

Cwmfelin Primary School celebrates the success of its ‘Big Bocs Bwyd’ (BBB) food initiative,  recognised by Estyn as a model of good practice, which extends support to the wider community, benefitting learners inside and outside of school.

Opening the BBB in September 2021 with produce from FareShare and local supermarkets, Cwmfelin Primary School offers food supplies to parents on a ‘pay as you can’ basis, three times per week.  Run by staff and a parent volunteer, the pupils are responsible for the maintenance of the BBB, including cleaning, re-stocking and checking the temperatures of the ‘bocs’.

The school has used the initiative creatively, integrating the BBB project into the school’s curriculum with the scheme delivering an endless supply of meaningful learning opportunities which are fully embraced by the pupils.  Acting Headteacher, Joanne Edwards, said: “We are able to offer pupils more activities linked to the growing, preparation and cooking of food, teaching them valuable life skills. The project has created excitement amongst the children about cooking and tasting; pupils’ attitudes have changed, with them becoming more involved in cooking with their families at home.

“I am so proud that Cwmfelin Primary School has become a part of this wonderful initiative. Not only does it provide our pupils with a variety of authentic learning experiences, but it also supports our local community. The children are also developing competency in a wide range of areas, such as financial literacy, food technology and sustainability.”

One parent said: “I love visiting the BBB weekly with my daughter. There is always a variety of food available, and it is a great way to introduce produce that my family has never tried before. It also teaches them about money and reducing food waste too!”

Lloyd, a pupil at the school, added: “The BBB is a really good system which helps families who are going through hard times. I often visit with my Dad to collect ingredients so we can cook together at home.”

The school has plans to further develop the scheme by introducing a new community garden.  This will offer a quiet space to support mental health and wellbeing, as well as an outdoor kitchen area which will host healthy cooking sessions for parents using BBB produce. Acting Headteacher, Joanne Edwards, continued: “With the installation of our new kitchen and community garden, our BBB is going from strength to strength, and we are excited to see what the future holds.”

What an innovative way of maximising the teaching and learning opportunities offered by the BBB project across the whole school.

With pupils taking ownership of the ‘bocs’, they are learning the significance of meaningful work and the learning experiences stemming from the BBB encourage them to become ambitious, capable learners, not to mention healthy and confident individuals. This whole school initiative has had a huge positive impact on learners and the wider community of the school. Well done to all involved!

Lindsay Harvey, Director of Education, Early Years and Young People at Bridgend County Borough Council

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