Christ Church CE Primary offers a caring environment and appreciates that a healthy diet is essential for maintaining and protecting children’s health, for ensuring they perform to their full potential during the school day (both academically and physically) and for their growth and development. Our aim is to help them establish a healthy lifestyle that we hope will continue into adulthood.
‘Diet is central to health and children’s diet can be an important influence on their health now and in the future. We know that a good diet in childhood can help protect against chronic diseases in later life. International research shows that diets rich in fruit and vegetables are protective against cardiovascular disease including heart disease and stroke. Poorly nourished children, especially those who overweight or obese often experience social and psychological. This can clearly have a significant impact on behaviour and performance in schools.
Initial consultation was led by Eileen Broadbent took place between pupils, parents, school staff, governors and representatives of the Oldham Primary Care Trust, Oral Health Improvement Team to ensure that all parties understood the benefits to be gained from a whole school food policy. As children do not bring snacks in for break times in school an audit of food and drink issues within the school setting concentrated on packed lunches and was undertaken by representatives of the ‘Oral Health Improvement Team’ who made recommendations to improve the quality of the contents of lunch boxes to meet the challenge laid out in Healthy Food in Schools- Transforming School Food and Drink.
In order for the whole school policy to be a success, it is important that the policy applies to all persons who use the premises including pupils, teaching and support staff, volunteers, catering team, governors and visitors. The cook (Mrs Wrigley) plans healthy lunchtime menus, these are updated in line with any changes in regulations. All areas of the whole school food policy including menus and food choices will be regularly monitored by the head teacher and the information reported to the governing body. All members of the school community (pupils, parents, staff, governors and visitors) will have access to our agreed whole school food policy and can discuss its contents with members of the school staff or governing body.
We aim to ensure that all aspects of food and nutrition promote health and well being of pupils, staff and visitors to our school. This policy takes into account local and national guidance including the White Paper Choosing Health: Making Healthier Choices Easier, Healthy Living Blueprint, Every Child Matters: Being Healthy and the objectives of the Local Area Agreement in relation to reducing obesity and the National Healthy School Standards: Healthy Eating theme.
Objectives of the whole school food policy
Ensure consistent messages about food across the curriculum and throughout the school environment.
To enable pupils to make informed choices about food.
To have a positive impact towards the physical development of all members of our school community.
Action to meet our objectives
Our whole school food policy covers the following areas:
Our school promotes the value of breakfast and encourages every pupil to have breakfast at the start of the day to ensure they are alert and ready to learn.
Before and after school clubs
Before and after school clubs play an important part in developing good habits. Christ Church After and Before School Club (CABS) follows our whole school food policy. At our before school club we provide a breakfast prepared by our School Cook. After school club provides a range of healthy food- breadsticks, cereal bars, crumpets, fruit. Water is always available.
Children in KS1 have either milk or water in class and have either a piece of fruit or vegetable. Children in KS2 can bring in a piece of fruit for break time.
Our school meals meet the latest DfES guidance on improving school meals and follow the food based requirements for school lunches and requirements for food in school other than lunches. Our school has a system in place whereby it sends home menus on which parents indicate which foods their children will/will not eat. Based on this information received back in school, the cook is then able to plan daily nutritious healthy meals for each child containing:
Bread, cereals and potatoes
Fruit and vegetables
Milk and dairy foods
Meat, fish and alternatives
Small amounts of foods containing fat and sugar
Through this inter-cooperation, pupil menus are monitored and regularly updated with parents informed of foods their children have refused to eat or have started to eat. As a result, waste food is reduced to a minimum.
Our school encourages parents to provide nutritious packed lunches based on the Balance of Good Health by providing foods low in fat, sugar and salt. Foods that are encouraged include a piece of fruit, vegetable or salad and a milk-based product such as yoghurt. Sugary and fizzy drinks are not allowed with water recommended and available for all pupils. Parents are reminded that a packed lunch needs to be wrapped and kept cold, as lack of refrigeration until lunchtime could lead to growth of harmful bacteria. Parents are encouraged to use an insulated box or bag. The head teacher monitors lunch boxes and encourages children to bring healthy packed lunches. Copies of the School Food Trust’s recommendations for healthy nutritious packed lunches are available to parents.
Access to water is a fundamental human right and necessary for good health. Children should drink water regularly during the school day and the children at Christ Church have access to a water cooler in the school entrance and jugs of water in the classrooms.
Food or drink provided on trips conforms to the latest DCSF/Department of Health/School Food Trust guidance and is consistent with the whole school food policy. Children who normally have a school dinner take a healthy nutritious packed lunch based on the Balance of Good Health that has been prepared on the school premises by the cook. Children who normally eat a packed lunch prepared at home bring theirs as normal.
Our school recognises the importance of acknowledging achievement of pupils. Our school has a code of conduct drawn up at the beginning of each academic year by the school council and staff. Teachers have different ways of giving rewards according to the age of the children including stickers, star of the week, team points, certificates and Friday top table awards. The school does not reward pupils with sweets.
Birthdays and celebrations are an important part of school life. There are various non-food ways of celebrating birthday’s in school. We request that parents do not send sweets into school to celebrate children’s birthdays.
Our school does not have any food or drink vending machines on site.
Due to the small size of the school a classroom and the hall area is used as a dining area during lunchtime. The hall in particular displays bright posters relating to healthy food options as well as posters reminding the children to eat 5 fruit or vegetables a-day. All the tables are covered with plastic tablecloths during lunchtime.
Our school promotes healthy eating by working with pupils in science, PSHE and D&T to learn about food in the context of a healthy diet and healthy lifestyle making pupils aware of the variety of foods including foods from other cultures. Through these curricular areas, pupils develop skills in planning and preparing a diet to achieve the Balance of Good Health as well as basic food hygiene and food safety practices. Members of the governing body often visit the school at mealtimes to monitor that the everyday practices within the school promote the school food policy.
The Headteacher and several teaching assistants have attended appropriate training enabling them to oversee food hygiene and food safety practices within school.
All food preparation activities taking place in either a school setting, after school clubs or school meals setting will be registered with the Food Safety section at Oldham council. All food handlers are trained in food hygiene or supervised by a person trained in food hygiene. Members of the governing body often visit the school at mealtimes to monitor that the everyday practices within the school promote the school food policy.
The staff in our school are clear about the aims and objectives of our school food policy. Staff act as good role models to the pupils and undertake to adopt the whole school food policy during the school day.
Fund raising is an important part of school life. All fund raising activities will consider the importance of the whole school food policy. When possible the school will promote healthier choices, however, in some circumstances this may not be possible such as the Christmas or Whit Friday fair.
Our school welcomes the views of the whole school community and we will deal with complaints quickly and efficiently by following our complaint procedure. Copies are available from school. We will comply with the mandatory food standards and refer any complainants to the Secretary of State for direction, should we not be able to resolve a complaint about them.