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School wins national food accolade

Published on 20 April 2016

A CITY primary school has been awarded a prized national accolade for food quality and education.

Stokes Wood Primary School has achieved the Soil Association’s Food for Life bronze award for the meals it serves and its commitment to encouraging pupils to grow and cook their own food.

The award shows that the school, in Blackett Avenue, New Parks, uses fresh ingredients, which meet nutritional guidelines and are free from additives and harmful trans fats.

Pupils, staff and parents have also given their suggestions about improvements to the ‘dining experience’ to encourage more pupils to eat a healthy school meal.

All of the meat used by the school also conforms with UK animal welfare standards and has earned the ‘Red Tractor’ farm assurance quality mark, while fish is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council and eggs are free range.

Pupils, staff, parents, governors and guests will be celebrating the award with a St George’s Day lunch menu on Friday (22). There will be a roast chicken dinner – with vegetarian alternatives – followed by apple pie.

Head teacher at the school, Jane Gadsby, said: “We are delighted to have achieved this award. It has helped the whole school community to learn more about healthy eating, improve their cooking skills, grow their own fruit and veg and develop a real understanding about the food on our plate and where it comes from.

“We want to encourage our pupils to eat healthily at home, too, so that healthy eating becomes a lifetime habit.”

Lisa Didier, Food For Life local programme manager, said: “It’s fantastic news that the school has achieved the bronze award. This is the result of lots of dedicated effort by the team at Stokes Wood Primary."

The Bronze Food For Life Mark standards focus on removing harmful additives and trans fats from the menu and ensuring that the majority of food is prepared freshly on site. They also focus on developing pupils’ skills in growing and preparing fresh food.

Assistant city mayor for children, young people and schools, Cllr Sarah Russell, said: "This award reaffirms our belief in healthy schools providing children with really good food and providing opportunities and life skills above and beyond the curriculum.

"The school shows what modern education is all about, which is using real-life experiences to teach the curriculum and providing the next generation with solutions to what threatens their future, namely climate change and the obesity crisis.”

Stokes Wood joins Overdale Junior School, in Knighton, in gaining the bronze award.
City Catering, the council team that helps provide around 22,000 school meals per day, also holds the Soil Association’s Bronze Food for Life Catering Mark. The award recognises the effort and commitment of the service to serving school meals that are freshly prepared, locally sourced and better for animal welfare.