Fish in School Hero seeks to give pupils a chance to prepare, cook and eat fish, aiming to develop more positive attitudes towards eating fresh fish sourced in the UK. It is a comprehensive programme designed to transform learning including:
- teacher training and classroom resources,
- supply of free fish directly to schools,
- support of Heroes: such as fish-loving chefs and fish suppliers,
- industry representatives who talk first-hand about bringing seafood from the sea to the plate, highlighting careers in the fish industry.
Fish in School Hero is delivered through an exceptional partnership created by the Food Teacher’s Centre with Fishmongers’ Company’s Fisheries Charitable Trust.
Why is it needed?
70% of pupils surveyed eat fish less than once a week*. This is detrimental to their health and wellbeing. Secondary school Food and Nutrition teachers struggled to provide preparation and cooking lessons due to lack of local fish supply, the prohibitive cost of fish, lack of teachers’ confidence and skills and, also pupils’ reluctance to try fish recipes. More than 50% of pupils had never cooked fresh fish before this programme, even in areas where the fishing industry exists.
Through providing locally sourced fish and teacher training, the programme overcomes the current obstacles to lesson planning and gives young people an exciting and delicious experience. It is directed particularly at schools in the most deprived areas, where pupils are unlikely to have access to fresh fish. As a result, nearly 70% of pupils want to cook fish again and eat more fish in the future.
What have we achieved?
More than 900 schools took part in 2022, with 13,000 pupils having a unique opportunity to prepare, cook and taste fish:
- 100kg Scottish Scallops delivered to 50 schools, reaching 5,000 pupils in the areas of deprivation/ highest free school meals scores
- 2 tonnes of Cornish mussels delivered fresh to 200 schools for 8,000 pupils
- There was no cost to schools
- They learned about where their fish comes from, sustainability, seasonality, and how quickly it can be prepared and cooked for appetising and nutritious meals.
Fish was delivered through an innovative partnership created by the Food Teacher’s Centre with Fishmongers’ Company’s Fisheries Charitable Trust, together with MacDuff, M&J Seafood, Offshore Shellfish Ltd and Fowey Shellfish Co.
More than 1027 Food and Nutrition teachers were trained as part of the programme and were supported with resources to bring their cooking lessons to life:
- Full teaching pack: video of harvest to plate, range of recipes suitable for classrooms and young people, school risk assessment
- Teacher training workshop and briefing, on-line training and best practice sharing platform
- Very few teachers had taught recipes with scallops or mussels in school before
Pupils feedback -via a post cooking and tasting survey*, demonstrated a marked change in confidence and attitudes towards fresh fish. After the programme, they requested to learn how to cook fresh fish, such as for fish pie and sushi.
67% ‘I would like to try preparing and cooking fish again’
69% ‘The fish masterclass has given me more confidence in preparing and cooking fish’
66% ‘I would like to eat more fish in the future’
*FISH 2021-22 Survey of 200 participating school
It has been really rewarding to see the activity around this project and amazing feedback from schools and pupils. Please go to our public facebook page for this project to find out more!
Schools can register here to take part in the FREE programme here. This registration will also guide you the resources and on-line training for schools.
For more information do get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
For the Fish Industry – Can you work with our schools as a FISH IN SCHOOL HERO?
We are looking for Fish Suppliers, Fishmongers, Fish loving Chefs and Fish industry experts to join us make a difference in our schools by giving talks about the industry, giving skill demonstrations and sharing our project on social media. Register to become a HERO here and find out more by clicking this link to register or download this invitation see how you can support the programme further.