Taking 186 students through the FEAST program in one term may seem near impossible, but Matthew from Livingstone Primary School in Victoria is making it happen! With a bit of planning and coordinating, Matthew has arranged 10 FEAST classes a week this term.
They are only a few weeks into the program, but Matthew has already seen incredible enthusiasm from both students and staff. We sat down with Matthew to ask him a bit more about his FEAST journey so far.
How are you teaching FEAST to such a large cohort?
It took some initial planning to get the program up and running, but it’s been worth it seeing so much enjoyment and learning happening already. I’ve organised ten classes over Wednesdays and Thursdays this term to ensure all the students can participate. We’ve also asked parents to contribute $10 per student to cover the cost of ingredients. To help reduce our impact on the planet, and to avoid single use plastics we’ve asked our students to bring in their own plates and containers for any leftovers!
What benefits are you seeing in the students?
It’s only week three but I’ve already seen some amazing learnings happening. Students are sharing resources, taking turns, and genuinely helping each other. We let mistakes happen which helps them learn resilience and how to improve their communication with one another. The incidental communication that happens during the FEAST sessions is so valuable.
What I love about FEAST is that cooking is such a level playing field in the classroom – its accessible to everyone. Therefore, all students feel a strong sense of success and a sense of ownership.
Have you had any surprises so far?
Yes, I was very surprised to see how many students don’t seem to know how to wash dishes! We almost need a separate short instructional lesson on how it’s to be done! I’ve also been surprised to see how the real-world learning skills the students gain from FEAST are extended beyond the classroom to at home with the students’ families.