Food and School Lunches
It is the intention of this section of our website to enable all those involved with Cheriton Primary to develop and maintain a shared philosophy on all aspects of food and drink within the school. We seek to develop healthy eating and drinking habits at Cheriton Primary that benefit all pupils, staff, parents, caterers and others associated with Cheriton Primary community.
We believe that all members of the Cheriton Primary community are both aware and help with the implementation of the following at Cheriton Primary:-
- that there is an important connection between a healthy, balanced diet and a child’s ability to learn effectively and achieve high standards in school;
- that pupils should be, and are, well nourished at Cheriton Primary and that every pupil has easy direct access to safe, tasty, nutritious food;
- that all pupils have access to a safe and clean water supply during the school day and beyond for any events that are sanctioned by the Headteacher to occur both before and after the offical school day
- that all members of the Cheriton Primary community are able to make informed choices about the importance of food and its production and as a result, which foods are appropriate at any event(s);
- that through Cheriton Primary’s curriculum, all school staff can bring together all elements of the school day to create an environment which supports a healthy lifestyle;
- that, beyond the hours of the normal school day, all members of the Cheriton Primary community are aware of and, in so far as is possible, strive to support and strengthen these aims, goals and objectives;
- that all members of the Cheriton Primary community are committed to providing a welcoming eating environment that encourages the positive social interaction of pupils and teachers;
- that all members of the Cheriton Primary community recognise that sharing food is a fundamental experience for all people and an excellent bridge for building friendships and intergenerational bonds;
- that we are committed to ensuring that food provision in Cheriton Primary reflects the ethical and medical requirements of staff and pupils (e.g. religious, ethnic, vegetarian, medical and allergenic needs);
- that we involve pupils, staff and parents in guiding food policy and practice within Cheriton Primary, in the hope that it will help enable them to contribute to healthy eating practices beyond the immediate school environment;
At Cheriton Primary, we regularly update our medical records of all children to identify those with food allergies. This process occurs at least annual at the start of the school year. We ask all parents however to note that it is the responsibility of parents to advise of any changes in their children’s dietary requirements. Any such information received will be promptly communicated to the HC3S and all relevant pupils, staff, caterers and anyone associated with food production visiting Cheriton Primary, thus ensuring all affected children are not unknowingly exposed to food allergens.
At Cheriton Primary we aim to be a "NUT FREE SCHOOL" this means we ask all parents not to send their children in with nuts and we do not give out nuts as snacks. This is to minimise the risks for any pupils with allergies.
Break time snack
All pupils are welcome to bring a healthy snack from home for the morning break time. This may include fruit or vegetables. Water may be drunk and access to fresh water is always available.
Plentiful drinking of water by school children has been recognised in improving behaviour and concentration. Therefore, all children are encouraged to bring a plastic water bottle for which they are responsible. Regular opportunities to drink water are given throughout the school day. Children are regularly reminded to drink water at break times.
The Food Standards Agency survey of packed lunchboxes showed that in general children’s lunchboxes contained too much sugar, salt and fat and little fruit and vegetables. We encourage parents to provide healthy lunchboxes.
We actively discourage some foods from being consumed at school such as: crisps, sweets, (including sweetened fruit products such as Winders), chocolate and confectionary containing chocolate, nuts and cereal bars containing nuts. ‘Squash’ or added-sugar and/or sweetened drinks should not be included in packed lunches or brought into school by other means and at other times.
Food not eaten in a packed lunch will be taken home by the child to ensure that parents know what their child has or has not eaten. We encourage parents to include in lunchboxes those foods which will provide a balanced meal and are known to have a positive impact on the child’s development.
In accordance with the British Nutrition Foundation guidelines a child’s packed lunch should include only the following:
- A portion of starchy food, preferably wholegrain;
- Fresh fruit and vegetables;
- A portion of milk or dairy food;
- Small portion of lean meat, fish or alternative; and
- A drink – fruit juice (not fizzy or diluted squash), water, milk
Lunchtime staff will look for opportunities to engage with children and chat to them about what they are eating.
The Dining Environment
Cheriton Primary is committed to providing a welcoming eating environment that encourages the positive social interaction of pupils and teachers. It is recognised that the physical constraints of the main hall mean that there are two lunch ‘sittings’, placing limits on the length of time available for serving and eating school dinners and eating packed lunches. Despite this constraint, we do aim to provide a calm, ordered environment conducive to good behaviour.
Cheriton Primary is also committed to the following:
- Active help for all children who find the physical process of school dinners or packed lunch difficult (for example, carrying trays, opening tubs or packets) whilst also encouraging and supporting independence;
- Encouraging all children to eat the food they have been provided with;
- Encouraging the correct use of cutlery to cut and eat with:
- Equal treatment of children having school dinners and packed lunches, in terms of provision and supervision;
- Provision of water jugs, containing clean water and cups on every table;
- In the event of any issues causing concern occuring consistently, such as inappropraite items in pack lunches or children not finishing their lunch while still being hungry or children commenting they are still hungry after finishing their lunch, to promptly sensitively raise and discuss such issues both the relevant child and parents/carer; and
- Encouraging all children to wash their hands before eating.
Celebrations & Festivals
Cheriton Primary also recognises that food plays an important role in celebration of culture, and religious festivals. As part of its religious education programme and topic work throughout Cheriton Primary, children will have the opportunity to experience foods significant to different countries and to different religious beliefs.
Food in the curriculum
Food represents many things to us all: energy, nutrition, commodity, livelihood, communal activity and pleasure, to name but a few. Its significance in our lives means that it can and should be used to enrich Cheriton Primary’s curriculum. This curriculum can in turn be used to enrich pupils’ experience of food and healthy eating. Schemes of work currently within this curriculum include a range will reflect the whole-school emphasis on healthy eating.
Curriculum content will focus on:
- The importance of food groups and the role they play in promoting growth.
- The development of strong healthy bodies;
- What constitutes a balanced diet;
- An understanding of cultural diversity;
- The development of respect and understanding towards the beliefs and attitudes of others; and
- How food is produced.
Food beyond the curriculum
The link between cultivation and consumption is often difficult to make for children who are used to picking products off a shelf and never enquiring about their origins. Cheriton Primary’s Gardening Club encourages children to grow their own vegetables and fruits. To complete the cycle, we do remind children to use the compost bins, to compost their fruit and vegetable waste, the products of which will then be used in the tubs and pots around Cheriton Primary.
At Cheriton Primary we also try to take full advantage of our setting by having school trips to local farms on a regular basis.
Cheriton School has its own kitchen in which school dinners are freshly prepared each day.
Children are able to select their meal choices in the morning. There is, therefore, no need to book lunches further in advance.
Catering Services for Schools
Payment For Meals
Each meal costs £2.80 although children in Years R, 1 & 2 receive a free school meal.
Ideally meals should be paid for in advance monthly but we can accept payments on a daily or weekly basis. Payments can be made by cash or cheque (made payable to Cheriton Primary School) via the school office or by using our online payment system.
If you wish to pay for meals via our online payment system, please follow this link.
Free School Meals
Some parents may be eligible to claim free school meals and this could mean that the school will receive additional funding to support children's learning known as Pupil Premium.
The criteria for eligibility is where parents/guardians are in receipt of one or more of the following benefits:
- Income Support
- Income-based Job Seekers' Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- the Guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit, provided you are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit, and have an annual gross income, of no more than £16,190 as assessed by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs1
- Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
- All Universal Credit claimants are currently eligible for education benefits’
Further Information Regarding Free School Meals
Information and a link to an online eligibility checker