RGU experts highlight healthy eating at Hazlehead Academy

Senior pupils at Hazlehead Academy are working alongside healthy eating experts from an Aberdeen university as part of new national qualifications in Scotland.

Hazlehead Academy pupil Sarah ReynoldsResearchers from Robert Gordon University (RGU) are supporting the school’s delivery of the National 5 Health and Food Technology class to pupils aged 14 to 17.

Experts from the university’s Institute of Health and Wellbeing Research (IHWR) will deliver a series of workshops throughout the year to support the pupil’s learning under the Curriculum for Excellence.

During the sessions, which will run until the Easter Holidays, pupils have already learned how to measure energy in food, received a talk about dietary diseases and are about to launch their own health research project.

RGU’s Professor Cherry Wainwright, Director of IHWR, has worked with her team to develop a number of healthy eating research workshops which complement weekly lessons from teachers at the school.

She said: “We are proud to work with Hazlehead Academy to support its delivery of healthy eating education to pupils. Ensuring they have a firm grasp of key health messages is vital for their future and we were delighted when the school approached us and suggested the partnership.

“The pupils have been engaged in a number of activities designed to make sure they are learning about the importance of healthy eating and maintaining a balanced diet. We also hope that by working with us they will gain an insight into the courses which are available at RGU.”

As part of the workshops pupils have also learnt about Body Mass Index (BMI), different kinds of nutrients, and how to measure fat tissue. They have also practiced making a variety of healthy dishes suitable for toddlers, anaemic teens, pregnant women and elderly people.

Hazlehead Academy pupils Alice Murray & Somuto NwobiHazlehead Academy teacher, Amy Nicolson, has been leading the weekly classes and approached Professor Wainwright to see if her team at IHWR would work with the pupils throughout the year.

She said: “We’ve struck up a fantastic partnership with Robert Gordon University for this project and the pupils are enjoying the workshops delivered by Professor Wainwright and her team. Their sessions make the course content a little more fun and engaging as well as up-to-date as they have access to the very latest information and research about healthy eating. 

“Curriculum for Excellence’s principles are centred around interdisciplinary, team and partnership work and to be working with researchers from RGU’s Institute of Health and Welfare Research is a huge boost for the pupils.”

The RGU team will also support the pupils with a health research project which, upon completion at the end of the course, will be pitched to a ‘Dragons Den’ panel of experts for assessment.

S5 pupil at Hazlehead Academy Alice Murray, 16, said: “The workshops with the RGU team are really interesting as they make the classes interactive and you get to hear different points of view. We’re also getting a taste of courses you can study at university and the sessions have helped to make me aware of my options for the future.”

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Ross AndersonCommunications Officer | Health and Sport