Lockdown learning bolstered with new red meat sector tool

The interactive tool shows the story of red meat production, from field to plate
The interactive tool shows the story of red meat production, from field to plate

Home learning under lockdown has been bolstered by a new resource which aims to teach schoolchildren the facts of Scottish red meat production.

'Farming Foodsteps' is offering a different way to engage in the sciences, home economics, maths and geography.

The resource is aimed at secondary school children and supports teachers in subjects across the curriculum through the story of red meat production, from field to plate.

The free interactive tool was developed when the first lockdown started in March 2020 by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

Jennifer Robertson, who is part of the Health & Education team, said educators and the agricultural industry were 'keen' to ensure that food and farming retained a significant place in the curriculum.

"Not only is it a key player in Scotland’s culture, but it can be easily integrated into subjects across the curriculum from literacy and geography to science, cooking and maths.

"It is also demonstrating to young people the many skills needed in modern agriculture, including technology, statistical analysis and environmental management in addition to the more traditional practices young people often associate with farming.”

Farming Foodsteps has been developed in line with the national curriculum and focuses on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), a key priority of the Scottish government.

It sits on an interactive platform online, with five main lessons full of colourful presentations, games and tools, editable worksheets, and quizzes ideal for the home learning environment.

The nature of Farming Foodsteps is that it can be taught digitally, and it can be worked through by a pupil who has access to a laptop, tablet or phone, without support from an adult.

The “Glorious Grass” activity found in Lesson 2 – To Field, is a real maths challenge bringing to life the science of grass and its importance to Scottish farming.

Another science-based activity found in Lesson 5 – To Fork, focuses on the Maillard reaction that occurs when cooking red meat, often called the browning reaction, but could be called the flavour reaction too.

Ms Robertson said: “Learning has definitely changed over the last few months, and we would love to see Farming Foodsteps bolster home learning for families across Scotland.

"We are asking families to share their experiences on our social pages, and we are here to support anyone who needs help getting to grips with it.

“Farming Foodsteps is all about interactive fun while delivering some important messages, and it is another step towards equipping a new generation with the STEM skills.”