Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Teachers' Notes

Resource created by M&S Archive.

This resource is part of a 'Food' theme intended to provide a broad picture of display design, using selected items from the M&S Archive's large collection of clothing and food packaging images. The overall aim of the Food related resources is to show changes in products throughout the history of the Company, and how this links to social history and world events.

Curriculum Links

  • KS2 & 3 Art & Design
  • KS2 & 3 Design & Technology (Cooking and Nutrition)
  • KS3 Citizenship
  • KS3 Geography

Learning Objectives

  • to read independently to support their learning
  • about the development and impact of convenience foods 
  • to appreciate the change in availability of different foods over 50 years
  • about food packaging

Discussion and Activity Ideas

We have listed below some ideas in which old and new images can be used with different subjects, as prompts for discussion and extension activities.

KS2/3 Art & Design

  • Look at the Percy Pig Sweet packaging and decide what customer age it is aimed at.
  • What do you think of the image, colours and fonts that are used? Could you suggest alternative ones?
  • Think of your favourite sweet or chocolate bar and design your own new packaging for it. 
  • Create a range of adverts across different media to promote your new packaging.  

KS2 & 3 Design Technology: Cooking and Nutrition

  • How important do you think it is that M&S sweets are made from pure fruit juice? Why?
  • Why is it important that we don't eat too many fatty things or foods with lots of sugar or salt?  
  • Have a day at school where your class learn to cook foods from different countries. Ask your teachers to invite people to demonstrate different cooking styles. 
  • Design your own own convenience food product. Spend time collecting data, asking questions such as what are peoples' favourite meals, do certain age groups like particular foods, do people like food from different cultures? You could then produce charts and graphs to represent the data you collect.
  • Have an 'Apprentice' style competition where your class is split into groups to promote your new convenience food.

KS3 Citizenship

  • In 1985 it was still quite unusual to be able to buy ready meal dishes from different cultures e.g. Chinese or Asian. In your class see how many foods from different countries people eat. You could bring in pictures of your favourites.
  • Does enjoying food from other countries have an impact on how we think about cultures different from our own? How?

KS3 Geography

  • Where does the food used in your school canteen come from?  Plot the routes on a map and calculate the food miles traveled by each item. Choose some popular meals and work out the total food miles for each.  What can your school do to decrease their food miles?
  • Convenience foods might benefit us but are there any down sides e.g. does it encourage the use of more packaging? 
    • Is the packaging used easily recyclable?
    • Are convenience foods higher in food miles than if the ingredients were bought separately and cooked at home?
    • How are M&S addressing these issues?