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Nutritious School Meals

Nutritious School Meals

School Catering … not just Nutritious School Meals

Nidderdale recognises the important contribution that nutritious school meals make to students’ health and learning.  School meals are an essential part of lunchtimes.  We aim for all students to be able to eat in school with their friends and to enjoy their social time in a modern, pleasant environment.

Food at Nidderdale is all prepared on site from fresh local produce by our Catering Manager (Mrs Kate Naylor) and team (Mrs D Clark, Mrs T Tinsley, Ms Whelan and Mrs Gillingham).

England now has the most stringent school food standards worldwide to ensure that food provided to pupils in school is nutritious and of high quality and to:

a.    promote good nutritional health in all pupils

b.    protect those who are nutritionally vulnerable

c.    promote good eating behaviour

A summary of the revised standards introduced in January 2015 is available from the School Food Plan website.   The standards apply to hot and cold lunches for students and require at least two items from the following food groups to be available:

Bread, potatoes, rice, pasta / Vegetables and fruit / Meat, fish or alternative source of protein

School’s Weekly Menu is uploaded onto the website and copies are displayed in the Dining Hall and in form rooms.

In 2014, the school was awarded National Healthy School status.  This award recognises excellent work in:

a.    Healthy eating

b.    Physical activity

c.    Emotional health and well-being

d.    Personal, social and health education (PSHCE)

This work is on-going.

Food Safety

We have a fully comprehensive Quality Assurance system supported by the Food Standards Agency through Harrogate Borough Council to safeguard catering practices within school. All members of the catering team hold food hygiene and safety certificates.

In September 2021 we retained the top hygiene rating of 5 (Very Good).  This is the third time we have been awarded this rating since these inspections were introduced.  This inspection result given to a business reflects the standards of food hygiene found on the date of inspection or visit by the local authority.  Further information about this rating can be found at the Food Standards Agency website

Theme Days

We hold regular theme days throughout the year. These days may be seasonal (e.g. Easter, Christmas); topical (e.g. World Cup, Olympic Games); traditional (e.g. Chinese, Indian, Mexican). These days are popular with students as special menus are prepared and often the dining room is decorated by catering staff.

Surveys – Listening to feedback

We put great value in listening to what students want from their catering service and we survey specific groups on appropriate issues annually.  We analyse results and where appropriate adjust the menus to use students’ suggestions.  The last survey showed 91% of students were highly satisfied with school catering.  Menu ideas implemented from feedback include:  Spicy meatballs, fajitas, garlic bread, poppadums, soup at lunchtimes, chilli beef wraps, pulled pork, macaroni cheese, lemon drizzle and carrot cake.  These suggestions now feature on the menu cycle.

Cashless Catering

We use a “cashless catering “system which removes the need for students to carry cash. Accounts are loaded via the school website home page (Gateway icon).  Parents register as users and transfer funds onto the student account.  Students use their thumbprint or PIN number (if preferred) to access accounts and pay for their meal.

Free School Meals

The cashless catering system in operation ensures discretion for those on free school meals.  If you believe you may be eligible for free school meals for your child you should complete the form on the Parents tab of the school website and submit it to the Local Authority. The form is also available from the school office.

School Open Evening – September

This event is usually attended by the Catering staff and student helpers.  Mrs Naylor is available to answer parental questions about school meals and show some examples of previous menus/feedback and results of the last student survey.  Bite size tasters are offered to prospective students and parents.