On Monday 6th October Bev Sedley and Ann Mitchell went to visit The Spinney Primary School, to talk about the school’s kitchen garden, school meals and food in the curriculum with James Ingram and Yvonne Hartley. They attended the school council meeting and met the council members – Katie, Jacob, Andree, Sarjana, Kieran and Esme.
After a brief introduction from Cambridge Sustainable Food, its activities and aims, the school council talked about the kitchen garden. Bev and Ann were able to take a look at the gardens, guided by Kieran and Esme. Two gardeners from each class work with James to plant, nurture and harvest the produce. This year they have been growing raspberries, carrots, potatoes, onions and lettuce. Year five children also grew wheat which was later made into flour and baked into bread as part of a class project. All of the produce is either used in cooking classes or by the school cook for lunches – something they hope to do more in the future.
Bev and Ann also talked to the children about their diets and eating habits in school. The younger classes participate in the fruit for schools scheme, and the older children bring fruit or vegetables at snack time. Friday is treat day, when they are allowed to bring an alternative snack. The children were all aware of the importance of a healthy diet.
The school gives pupils the chance to do small group cooking classes, in which they have made pizza, cakes and soup. There is also an international food day, when each class is assigned a country to represent through food. The children each receive a passport which is used to visit different ‘countries’ and collect stamps as the children learn about different national cuisines and cultures.
Bev and Ann were impressed by how articulate the children were in expressing themselves about food poverty and waste, and how lucky they are to have enough of it when others don’t.
School meals at The Spinney are provided by Lunchtime UK, which makes a point of serving locally and ethically sourced seasonal food.