We recognise the important connection between a healthy diet and a child's ability to learn effectively and achieve high standards in school. We also recognise the role Orchard has in promoting family health and meeting the outcomes of Every Child Matters. The school provides all foodstuffs children consume during the day and our seasonal menus follow recommendations from the Caroline Walker Trust, Eating Well at School. Our trained staff cater for vegetarian and cultural options and are able to support individual medical dietary requirements.
Orchard has a culture of eating together to maximise the social potential and allow the norms and conventions of table manners to be imparted and modelled in a relaxed way. Children, from the earliest ages, staff and visitors take every opportunity to meet and enjoy each other's company whilst sharing food. Family type groupings encourage children to try new textures and flavours from our home cooked menus. Pupils have the opportunity to give their opinions and take an active part in decision making about school food through the school council.
Orchard is fortunate to have an in house catering staff committed to the nutritional quality of the food they serve. A weaning kitchen prepares food for our babies that encourages them to acquire a savoury taste that helps to reduce the desire for sweet foods and lessen the risk of childhood obesity. Only good quality fresh foods are used that are often supplemented by vegetables from the school allotment and eggs from the school chickens, to create menus ranging from warming soups and stews to raw foods and salads.
Orchard exploits opportunities within the existing curriculum to discuss, work with and grow food. The school is a member of the Royal Horticultural Society and is actively involved in their campaign for School Gardening. Our resident gardener plans with the pupils for seasonal produce, which they grow and help care for.
The partnership of home and school is critical in shaping how children think about food and their health and our parents continue to be extremely supportive. The school has experienced considerable success in establishing good sustainable eating habits amongst its pupils as they progress through nursery and into school.
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