School cooks up a silver food award

From left, Jeanette Orrey, Paula Cummings, Dawn Lewins and Carol Flatman at the presentation of Cambo First School's Food For Life silver award.
From left, Jeanette Orrey, Paula Cummings, Dawn Lewins and Carol Flatman at the presentation of Cambo First School's Food For Life silver award.

TAKING control of its own healthy food provision has helped a Northumberland school to reach a high quality national standard.

After meeting all of the extensive criteria over the last two years, Cambo First School has now received the silver Food for Life Partnership award.

A key aspect to this achievement has been the successful introduction of a meals service run by the school itself and there have been a host of other initiatives.

Every week, two members of the community come into school to cook for two hours with a year group. The youngsters take turns so that over the year, each pupil has the chance to learn how to cook certain meals for at least half a term.

Governors, parents and teachers work together to help them eat healthier and the children’s views are also taken into account.

A contingent from Cambo went down to Manchester to receive the award from renowned school meals expert Jeanette Orrey, including headteacher Paula Cummings who said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have achieved this accolade, particularly as we are the only school in Northumberland to get the silver one.

“Although a flagship school for Food for Life with a bronze award, we have been unable to access the silver or gold because Northumberland County Council’s Meals Service only operates at a bronze level.

“This year we took over our own school meal service and we have never looked back. We serve freshly-cooked and nutritionally-balanced meals from locally-sourced food producers that our pupils really enjoy.”

The school uses its own organic pork and eggs laid by its free-range hens and it grows its own vegetables in the garden and allotment.

In addition, cook Dawn Lewins has introduced a system whereby the children are rewarded for the number of clean plates they manage.