A TAUNTON primary school has joined a healthy food and cooking programme.

The aim of Minerva Primary School (part of The Redstart Learning Partnership) is to give children opportunities to learn and develop in ways they would not usually experience in the classroom and improve family engagement with healthy food and outdoor activities.

In its most recent endeavour, it is working with Channel Adventure and Food and Fun Together.

Children and families get to experience bushcraft, axe throwing and team challenge activities alongside learning about healthy food and cooking.

Channel Adventure CIC is working with Somerset Council's Healthier Lifestyle Service team to deliver a unique programme of adventure and food-based activities over five weeks.

Channel Adventure, whose main centre is based in French Weir Park in Taunton, is trialling this outreach programme with Minerva Primary School, with the hope to work with more schools in the area in 2024.

Where outdoor centres would only traditionally offer adventure from an operational site, Channel Adventure is giving schools further opportunities to access adventure through delivering programmes direct to the school.

They hope this will remove barriers for children and families to access forms of adventurous education.

During the winter, adventure centres like Channel Adventure see a fall in number of users, this is the perfect time to trial new methods of delivery and continue to engage with communities, even when it starts to get darker earlier.

From general engagement to mental health, Channel Adventure is working with local organisations to develop programmes to build stronger communities throughout the year.

Fun and Food Together (through engagement with families and local organisations) programme has been developed to specifically work with children and parents to develop resiliency, self-confidence and knowledge.

A representative from the team said: “The children and parents that attended engaged with our first session well and got involved with building shelters and making fires.

“Delivering this programme just fills my heart, knowing we are giving experiences of adventure, that without us, children may never get to enjoy.”

Having Somerset Council's Healthier Lifestyle Service team onboard with this programme, gives the sessions the opportunity to grow from a child-only approach to one that works with families.

Food and Fun Together (FFT) is a series of interactive cooking sessions covering topics such as food hygiene, knife/chopping and basic cooking skills and healthier food choices.

The sessions include learning a skill and preparing food; the food prepared will be a cost effective, nutritious meal to take home with the family.

The sessions are provided by the Healthier Lifestyle Service, Somerset Council who provide all food and equipment required.

The Head of School, Gareth Nation, said: “It is crucial we actively seek out and create opportunities such as this in order to foster healthy habits for life and provide the children and their families with a rich variety of activities in which they can learn resilience, courage and collaboration.

“It is just one example of the many varied and additional provisions provided at this wonderful school.”