Our School - The Kitchen Garden Program

Surfside Primary School students are part of the revolutionary Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program.

The program rumbled into action in 2001, when renowned cook and food writer Stephanie Alexander OAM joined forces with an inner-Melbourne school community to establish the Kitchen Garden Program at Collingwood College. Stephanie’s pioneering approach to food education is now flourishing in over 200 schools around the country

The fundamental philosophy that underpins the program is that by setting good examples and engaging children’s curiosity, as well as their energy and their taste buds, we can provide positive and memorable food experiences that will form the basis of positive lifelong eating habits.

Each week at Surfside, over 150 children in Grades 3 to 6 have this experience in our custom-built kitchen and expansive edible garden. To see what we’ve been up to in class (including photos, activities and recipes), visit the kitchen garden news section (under the curriculum tab)

Full details of program can be found at The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation http://www.kitchengardenfoundation.org.au/ )

Benefits of the Program

Unfortunately, not all Australian children eat well. A large number go to school each day without breakfast. Nearly a third are overweight or obese. We know that poor food choices lead to poor health, and that the obesity epidemic is the public health issue of our time. Children participating in the Kitchen Garden experience a pleasurable and positive learning environment, in which they:

  • learn new skills both in the kitchen and the garden;
  • flourish in a ‘non-academic’ learning environment;
  • experience new flavours and broaden their knowledge;
  • address many health issues; 
  • experience new, culturally enriching ideas and practices;
  • develop cooperative skills of working in a team environment and sitting down to eat;
  • put numeracy skills into practice in the form of areas, weights and measurements; and
  • put literacy skills into practice in the form of recipe reading and writing, reflections and descriptions.

The success of the program relies on our fabulous volunteers
The classes greatly benefit from our team of volunteers. They help to facilitate learning, as well as keeping the kitchen and garden environment safe. If you would like to come along and assist, please contact the school for further information. Our volunteers find this to be a thoroughly rewarding experience, often educational, and always full of fun and delicious food!