1. National Framework for Sustainable Schools
The government would like all schools to be sustainable by 2020, and has produced guidance within an eight-doorway framework. SSS adheres to two of these doorways in particular; food and drink, and purchasing and waste. Schools can be sustainable through being model suppliers of healthy, sustainable food and drink; showing strong commitments to the environment; and maximising their use of local suppliers. SSS achieves this through increasing children’s awareness of where food comes from, food chains, and the processes used in growing, harvesting and food preparation.
SSS connects to the purchasing and waste doorway by carefully sourcing goods and services of high environmental and ethical standards that have been obtained from local sources where practicable. All of SSS’s materials for each book and accompanying pack compliment these principles.
2. Healthy Schools
In ten years the National Healthy Schools programme has become one of the country’s most widely embraced initiatives in schools. Schools need to satisfy criteria in the four core themes within the programme: Healthy eating, physical activity, PSHE, and emotional health and well-being.
SSS promotes inclusion through bringing together cross-curricular learning through an interactive approach. Children initially engage in a written and visual text, and have close links to ICT through the website extras. Connecting the imaginative seed-based characters with further learning opportunities brings an extra ‘real and meaningful’ experience to learning, and allows for children’s individual learning styles.
Activities such as growing seeds, or making recipes supports all areas of Healthy Schools and promotes positive emotional health and wellbeing so children can understand and express their feelings, build their confidence and emotional resilience, and therefore their capacity to learn.
3. Every Child Matters Agenda
Every Child Matters: Change for Children is a comprehensive approach to the well-being of children and young people from birth to age 19. The five outcomes for children and young people are: Be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve through learning, make a positive contribution to society, and achieve economic well-being.
SSS encourages children to work together in more integrated and effective ways through growing, harvesting and cookery based activities that link with the central imaginative narratives of the stories. Children are learning and reflecting on their environment through a variety of creative and exciting cross-curricular links, and our fulfilling of outcomes of the Every Child Matters agenda.
4. Growing Schools Initiative
Growing schools promotes learning outside the classroom and has been founded in response to the government’s needs for children to have the chance to learn in new, more relevant and exciting ways. By having direct experiences of growing within the natural environment, this has been shown to be particularly effective in benefiting those who find classroom learning difficult.
SSS connects directly with this principle through developing children’s understanding of where food comes from and the role of farmers and growers, the interdependence of the urban and rural environments, and how and why we should care for the natural world.
5. Learning outside the classroom
Learning outside the classroom is about raising achievement through an organised, powerful approach to learning in which direct experience is of prime importance. This is not only about what we learn but importantly how and where we learn. It provides a context for learning in many areas: general and subject based knowledge; thinking and problem-solving skills; life skills such as co-operation and interpersonal communication.
SSS engages children with the outdoor environment via growing, observing and harvesting seeds; designing and making assignments using food; and sharing these experiences with friends, families and communities.