Our Food for Life Journey
Having successfully achieved our Bronze Food for Life (FFL) Award in July 2014, we are now working hard to achieve the goals provided by the Silver and Gold criteria. Although it is always rewarding to achieve an award, we are particularly inspired to use the FFL criteria to help us achieve some challenging goals and to deeply embed the ethos behind the FFL programme in the day to day running of our school.
During the Autumn Term of 2015 we concentrated on making improvements to the general Dining Hall experience for our pupils by employing a Dining Hall Manager, Queuing times have shortened and noise levels have decreased. ‘Happy Helpers’ from Year 6 help younger pupils to cut their dinners, carry their trays and clear the tables. Pupils from Reception now enjoy their lunch in the Early Years classrooms, providing them with the opportunity to eat in a quieter environment and to practice their table manners.
We have enjoyed themed meals in the Dining Hall including National Roast Dinner Day, American Day and Christmas Dinner. To enhance the enjoyment of these special events the hall is decorated by the pupils, staff dress up and hats are made. Our Christmas Dinner was an even greater success this year as teachers helped to serve dinners to their pupils and sat with their class to enjoy a delicious Christmas Dinner.
This year in 2016 we will be focusing our efforts on integrating additional cooking activities to support topic work. A good example of how we can achieve this is when Year 2 pupils learnt about The Great Fire of London through the words of a story teller enacting the experience of Thomas Farriner. The children heard how the fire started in the bakery owned by Thomas in Pudding Lane. They then learnt how to bake bread by watching a Paul Hollywood Master Class video. Pupils visited our school kitchen to see our own fresh bread proving and being cooked before baking their own bread in the kitchen ovens. We have also introduced cookery sessions for some of our Year 3 pupils who are enjoying learning new skills under the guidance of our kitchen staff.
Another important area of development is forging strong links with local producers. Pupils from Year 2 will be enjoying monthly newsletters from Hallwood Farm in Petrockkshow and will be visiting the farm to enhance their Literacy topic. Pupils will be growing vegetables outside their classroom to mirror what Hallwood Farm are growing and they will also be enjoying visits from other local producers.
Although we have a good selection of growing areas in school, we need to ensure that every classroom has capacity to grow organic produce both out of doors in inside. With this in mind, additional raised beds will be built, window boxes installed and planters purchased. Most of the produce that we grow this year will be prepared by our school kitchen and integrated into our school dinners, utilised in class or sold at ad hoc table top sales. Posters in the Dining Hall will help our pupils to understand and appreciate the seasonality of our food, learn about organic gardening practices and understand the ‘eatwell’ plate.
It looks like we are in for a busy but exciting ‘foody’ year and we are looking forward to setting a firm bedrock for future healthy young eaters.