Our aim is to encourage as many pupils as possible across the school to have a cooked school meal, a provision we are very proud of.
Those pupils who wish to bring a packed lunch to school are welcome to do so, but we ask that parents/carers adhere to the school’s packed lunch and healthy eating policies – whilst also respecting that we are a nut-free school. We have a number of pupils on roll for whom exposure to nuts and/or nut products can have extremely serious consequences.
Upon your child joining the school, we request that you confirm whether they will be having a school meal or a packed lunch. For current pupils, should there be no change at the start of the school year from the previous (Summer) term, their current meal status will carry forward – a lunch audit is routinely carried out during the first couple of weeks of the Autumn term to ensure that everyone’s meal status is correct.
The current cost per day of a school meal is £2.45 for YN pupils and £2.55 for KS2 pupils – KS1 pupils are funded by the government’s Universal Free School Meal scheme – with charges applied to SIMS Pay accounts in advance on a half termly basis.
A parent wishing to stop lunches is required to give notice prior to the first day of any half term. Notice must be given in writing, preferably by email, to the relevant front office. In the event that written notice
is received after the start of a half term, charges will be made to the end of that half term (and meals
may be taken during this period). In the event of financial difficulty, parents should contact the
Headteacher to discuss this.
The school currently has a contract with a company called Caterlink. This contract was established in September 2011. Meals are freshly cooked each day, on-site in the school kitchens.
Amanda (our Chef Manager) and her team strive to create tasty, nutritionally balanced and culturally diverse dishes that also meet the strict healthy eating, animal welfare and food standards established by the government – meals to stimulate developing taste buds and young minds!
Our children have a keen interest in food production, where their food comes from, environmental impact, sustainability and seasonality. We have a food focus group, our Chef Manager regularly joins Pupil Council meetings and feedback is actively encouraged via a comment slip system.
Both school kitchens were substantially upgraded in the summer of 2011, prior to this contract being awarded, thanks to the generous fundraising efforts of our PTFA.
Our school meals are extremely popular, with over 87% of pupils enjoying a freshly prepared lunch from the school kitchen each day. A large percentage of school staff eat with the children on a daily basis – lunch at Barnes is very much a social event.
We provide a fresh salad bar alongside the main menu, with the catering team working hard to ensure that primary school favourites – such as grated carrots, sweetcorn and cucumber – are available alongside new, mouth-watering combinations. New favourites include Greek Salad, Superfood Salad with lentils and sun-dried tomatoes and Roasted Vegetable Couscous.
Fresh Fruit and Freshly Baked Bread
Fresh bread is baked daily, and served alongside the main menu and Salad Bar. Amanda and her team produce flavoured focaccia, ciabatta and flatbread alongside more traditional loaves. Fresh fruit platters are always available as an additional option to the day’s dessert. Oils, spices and seeds are provided for dipping and sprinkling – a science in itself!
Taster Sessions and Taster Pots
Children potentially have to taste new foods ten to fifteen times before deciding whether they like it or not. Encouraging children to try new ingredients – or different combinations of ingredients and flavours they are already familiar with – is key.
We have a well-established allotment and Gardening Club, supported by both staff and volunteers. We aim to incorporate homegrown produce within the menu wherever possible – it being far more likely that fussy or nervous eaters will eat vegetables if they have been involved in the growing process.
Meat Free Mondays
We have encouraged the addition of meat free days, as well as the introduction of new 50% plant-based protein recipes – all of which contain more vegetables and less meat on average compared to the original recipes.
Vegetables can be added to everything, including desserts. Particular favourites at Barnes have included a Beetroot & Chocolate Brownie, Carrot & Courgette Cake and White Bean & Oat Blondies.
Chefs Adopt a School (CAS) Programme
The school works alongside Caterlink to not only deliver delicious school meals, but also teach children about taste, provenance and the journey from farm to fork. Development chefs regularly visit the school to deliver workshops, lead cookery classes and host healthy eating assemblies.