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.
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.