Buon appetito

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St Macartan’s School, Mornington.30 August 2021

The students at St Macartan’s School, Mornington, have found a delicious way to develop their skills in learning Italian.

Part of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation, the school’s garden allows students to grow fruit, vegetables and herbs before going into the kitchen to cook them in a celebration of all things Italian. The Year 3 and 4 classes participate in the garden each Friday: half of them in the kitchen and the other half in the garden. There are also as many as 50 parents and grandparents who volunteer in the kitchen and garden.

‘I use Italian in the kitchen to list the ingredients and utensils we need’, said the school’s Languages and Kitchen Garden teacher Kelly Ruffell. ‘The children greet me in Italian and, being a Catholic school, we say grace and make the sign of the cross before eating.’

The students prepare and cook pizza, pasta and focaccia with their fresh ingredients, all while developing their language skills. Families benefit too, including getting some of the fresh eggs laid by the school’s chickens. The garden specialises in growing seasonal produce and, despite the challenges of lockdown, is continuing to thrive.

The school’s kitchen garden was recently featured in Italian language newspaper Il Globo.