Healthy Eating at Great Baddow High School Diner
Great Baddow High School has Enhanced Healthy School Status, "Developing healthy and happy children and young people, so that they can achieve their best in learning and in life." The status was renewed in September 2015.
A key feature to gain the Enhanced Healthy schools status is providing for all health issues ranging from healthy eating to mental health issues, such as dealing with exam stress. Within our status we will be running a project from September 2016 called ‘Youth Health Champions’. The YHC project will allow a group of year 10 pupils to be training to deliver workshops and assemblies on health issues. This will hopefully allow pupils to achieve a greater understanding of these and also show pupils pathways into tackling these issues.
In September 2015 we ran a project funded by the NHS called ‘Go Girls’. The project was over 6 weeks and allowed us to work with 8 girls in year 11. The project saw the girls involved tackle issues such as self-esteem and boost their confidence.
We pride ourselves on the catering service we provide for students and staff. We have a large, well-equipped kitchen and a serving area for 1400 students. Our friendly team consists of thirteen kitchen staff and midday assistants. All our meals are homemade and when possible, from locally sourced produce.
The students are encouraged to eat in the diner and enjoy a relaxed and happy atmosphere in which to socialise.
Menus are changed on a three week rota and we serve seasonal foods. Once a month we have a themed day, for example, Oriental, Mexican or Indian cuisine. This gives students the opportunity to try foods from other cultures. On a daily basis students are able to serve themselves from a salad bar and enjoy fresh sandwiches, rolls and wraps. We also provide a takeaway service for those students who wish to eat outside at one of the picnic benches. We have a pasta bar which is very popular with the students. There is a different choice of sauces daily, either meat or vegetarian.
Every Thursday we offer a home cooked roast dinner, which could be beef, pork, chicken or turkey. This is always very popular among students and staff alike.
On Fridays we offer a "Grab a Bag" day. This is the only day of the week when we serve chips and to accompany them the students have a choice of chicken nuggets, burgers, or sausage rolls.
Before school students can purchase a variety of breakfast, which has proved invaluable, especially for those students who attend early morning clubs. We serve fresh fruit, cereals, toast, yoghurts, etc.
The diner operates a "cashless card system" which means that all students and staff are provided with a dining card with which to pay. Money can be deposited in cash by the students or parents can use the Parent Pay online system to top up funds. This speeds up the process at the tills. The system also allows us to track what the students are eating and parents can see how much they are spending each day. Parents are able to ban their child from purchasing particular foods or drinks, which is really important for those students with allergies. Students who are entitled to free school meals have their daily allowance automatically credited to their card, which avoids any potential embarrassment for the child.
We are constantly looking at ways to promote and encourage our students to eat well and over the past three academic years we have seen a pleasing increase in healthy eating:
The number of students opting for school meals has increased by 19% over the past two years.
We now have introduced a display in the diner detailing all the information parents, students or staff might need to know about allergens that are contained in certain foods.
Essex Healthy Schools Benchmarking Tool
The benchmarking tool offers a point of reference for self evaluation. It is intended that schools use it to help:
- Judge the quality of their current provision for children and young people’s health and well-being;
- Identify any shortcomings that need to be addressed and priorities for further development.
Click Here for more information.