Food glorious food......
....... there's nothing quite like it!
We take great pride in our catering, which pupils, staff, visitors and inspectors all agree is outstanding. We are very conscious of the importance of having fresh ingredients, with a minimum of artificial additives and a maximum of taste and variety.
Our Catering Manager Heather Wareham has always been at the forefront of the movement to make school meals healthier, so it was with some enthusiasm that she embraced the guidelines monitoring the nutritional value of school meals as soon as they were launched. A typical term's menus are shown on the linked page.
National Nutritional Standards
Introduced in response to Jamie Oliver's high profile campaign, legislation now requires all school menus to be analysed as to their nutritional content, with limits set for the 'bad' elements and targets for the 'good'.
Heather had to load all her menus into a sophisticated new computer programme and was very pleased with the results. She said "It involved a lot of work, but it is good to know that what we produce now is even better than before, and helping to make the children healthier. I'm afraid a lot of the favourite puddings had to go, but with most recipes it is simply a matter of substituting one or two healthier ingredients. We do turn a little bit of a blind eye for Christmas Dinner though!"
One particularly useful additional benefit of the software will be to enable analysis of some of the more specialised diets required by some children, to identify and correct any nutritional imbalance. For those who struggle to eat healthily outside school, it should also be possible to demonstrate quite graphically just how their diet might be harming them.
As much as possible of our food continues to be locally sourced to enhance quality and minimise food miles. Our local suppliers now include our own Brickwall Gardens, where we are steadily building up the quantity and range of fresh vegetables and fruit supplied direct to our own
kitchens. We encourage pupils to get involved, and they gain great satisfaction from seeing their own produce served up for lunch! Heather also greatly enjoys producing an enormous range of jams, chutneys and pickles from the surplus produce.
We are able to cater for a wide range of specialist diets, and we are
happy to do this where allergies or medical advice are concerned. If the need for a ‘specialist diet’ results from faddishness, especially for unhealthy foods, we see it as part of our role to wean children onto a healthier and broader diet. Indeed, most willingly opt to broaden their diet when they see how much others enjoy the meals provided. Currently no less than 17 pupils require special arrangements, nearly 20% of our total school roll.
Heather (left) and her team of Christmas Elves ready to serve Christmas Dinner!