What is Food for Life?
Food for Life brings schools, nurseries, hospitals and care homes, and their surrounding
communities together around the core ethos of healthy, tasty and sustainable food.
At Blackwell Primary School we are committed to gaining our Bronze Award - we have just a few points remaining and we are working very hard to achieve these before the end of the academic year!
To achieve the bronze award, we need to meet certain criteria. They are:
Our children visited White Post Farm (a working farm in Farnsfield, near Mansfield) for a day trip. The trip linked back to the wider learning of the Foundation Stage meeting their Early Learning Goals for "The World". This is where the children have to learn and demonstrate knowledge of the world around them (a farm environment), living things (identifying different animals) and materials/objects (both natural and man-made).
We are looking to build links with local farms close to the school and have sent communication to ask for their support.
We have our first assembly planned on Wednesday 6th June based on the theme of "organic gardening" which will be for the entire school, and led by Mrs Gardner.
We then have plans to have an assembly on a food based topic at least once a term.
Cooking and Nutrition in the curriculum
Our children currently have access to a "Let's Get Cooking" club at lunchtimes. We will be our own home grown produce to cook with when it has grown!
Children have other opportunities to cook as part of our curriculum. Our Lower Key Stage 2 class used a link with history to promote cooking - children made sourdough bread as part of their Vikings topic and shared this with other children and staff in school.
The Upper Key Stage 2 class used a food tasting and preparation session as part of their "Brazil" topic. They had the chance to prepare and eat tropical fruits (pineapple, mango, papaya) and also eating edible insects! (including an edible tarantula spider, mealworms, grubs, etc).
Cooking is linked to the whole school approach through special events, all children having access to the Lets Get Cooking and gardening clubs, and by the development of outdoor space/learning being part of the School Improvement Plan for this academic year.
Menus are communicated to parents by a physical copy handed to them. We also have the menus displayed prominently where parents and pupils can see them, in classrooms and on our kitchen door. The menu is also on the school website. We have posters displayed around the school advertising where special dinners are taking place and these are also on our school website calendar. We are keeping parents updated with our FFL activities via our website, newsletters, and Twitter account. Parents are invited into school to take part in "Parent Dinner".
The dining experience
Pupils from our year 6 class created their own survey to ask their peers what improvements they would like in the dining hall. Their results will be used to make changes. We have also set up a suggestion box which is regularly checked by students and the results fed back to our SNAG group.
To encourage calm behaviour we have a tambourine which is shaken if the noise level gets too great in the hall.
To encourage positive behaviour we have a "Come Dine with Me" top table each week, where the children get a prize and eat their lunch with the Headteacher or Assistant Headteacher. The table is dressed up specially to make the children feel special. Our lunchtime staff help children cutting their food and to make healthy choices in the dining hall. We have a staff member near the salad bar each day to encourage children to pick a healthy side for their lunch.
The children took control of surveying their peers. They have carried out a survey and will do this regularly throughout the year (reporting the findings to the SNAG group). Parents have been asked to contribute to a Derbyshire County Council catering survey to give their views.
We encourage our parents to join in with a large number of events at the school that directly relate to gardening.
All our parents were invited to join in a sunflower growing competition that is still ongoing, with a prize for the largest sunflower. Most children have taken their flowers home and some have left them to beautify the school outdoor space. A large number of staff and visitors also took part.
Our PTA is very involved with our gardening project and outdoor development and has been from the outset - they regularly visit school and have joined in our project to the full.
School does not use flight trays in our dining hall. These will not be introduced.
School Gardening and outdoor space
We are currently growing a large number of different fruits and vegetables - potatoes, carrots, sweetcorn, peas, beans, and we shortly have a fruit and vegetable delivery of plug plants due at the school.
We have linked our growing activities to subjects in a number of ways - science (where the growing and parts of seeds is linking to our new STEM room and club), art and design (children have designed their own version of our planters with the plants they would like to grow) and geography (where children have completed work to show where different plants and seeds grow in the world).
We have a number of compost bins out on the school field and these are going to be used to make compost for our raised beds. We are getting a new bin in place for fruit scraps left by the Foundation Stage/Key Stage 1 children so we are able to compost and recycle as much waste as currently is thrown away as we can.
Sharing our work and learning
We share our Food for Life work on our website and on Twitter. We have a link with our local school through Miss Flint, who works at both our school and another local school, and we are building a link with their SLT for us to collaboratively share information.
We will be holding a "Farmers Market" as part of our Summer Fayre on Friday 6th July. Arrangements have been made for some able pupils, the PTA group and the gardening club to take part. We will host a stall with plants and our own produce for sale, the proceeds of which will go back into funding the gardening club and outdoor development. We will repeat this every year as part of our annual summer fayre event.
The entire community is invited to our fayre and therefore by extension to farmer's market - parents, carers, pupils, staff, ex-staff, community members and wider family members and friends.
Reporting and Monitoring
School meal uptake is monitored on a daily basis by the school office staff. Every two weeks Mr White and Mrs Howe meet to discuss the catering provision. All parents are given the opportunity to apply for Free School Meals and all procedures in school do not discriminate between those on FSM and those who are not.
We have set up a SNAG group (School Nutrition Action Group). This has been formed with members of the school council, a rotating representative from the teaching staff, an office representative (Mr White or Miss Flint), the PTA (Kelly or Amy) and a school governor (Mr Fox).
The SNAG group meets once each half-term and has responsibility for the development of food culture in school.
(as of 17th May 2018)
"Unlocking Potential, Providing Opportunities, Achieving Goals"
BLACKWELL PRIMARY SCHOOL