Convenor: Kathleen Heath
Region: North Coast
School Type: State Special School
No. of students: 106
Days open: 1
Acknowledgement of QAST Awards Received:
Top Ten Tuckshop 2019
Tuckshop Team of the Year 2018
Top Ten Tuckshop 2018
Community Service Award (Student Engagement) 2017
“This tuckshop is unique…”
This tuckshop is unique in the fact that it is run by students, a teacher and teacher aide. Each year a new group of students arrive with a wide range of disabilities. All students have an intellectual disability, some have physical, visual and hearing impairments, as well as ASD and various medical conditions.
Most of the students have never been in a kitchen before stepping into the tuckshop, so training them can be a challenge at times. The students prepare and cook foods for other students and staff in the school and catering for a variety of different needs must be taken into consideration in particular specific allergies and sensitivities (such as food textures, colours etc). The menu is designed so that all students are able to find something suitable to purchase.
As a part of the students’ learning there is a kitchen garden program. The food grown, is used in the kitchen and all food is made from scratch. The tuckshop team embrace and celebrate different cultural activities and special events in the school by having a special menu during those events. For example, if book week is based on dinosaurs, the tuckshop has a dinosaur themed menu.
Students start the year off struggling to recognise basic fruits and vegetables, have no knife skills or ability to measure ingredients. By term 4 the students recognise a wider variety of foods, have increased their confidence using knives and other kitchen implements and equipment and are beginning to follow recipes independently as well as deliver the ordered tuckshop foods to the correct classrooms. Routine within the tuckshop is key to a successful operation. The students are given specific roles which rotate on a weekly basis, providing students with the opportunity to experience different tasks. Over time the students begin to work as a team, supporting each other during their time in the tuckshop. Whilst it is very challenging for students and staff, it is also very rewarding.
Kathleen’s main aim is to provide the students with life skills so that they are able to cook and prepare food independently.