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Verwood Church of England First School and Nursery

Healthy Schools and Catering

In our school we are committed to giving our pupils consistent messages about all aspects of health to help them understand the impact of particular behaviours and encourage them to take responsibility for the choices they make. Through effective leadership, the school ethos and the personal, social and health education curriculum (please see the PSHE policy, under curriculum) we are able to bring together many elements of the school day to create an environment which supports a healthy lifestyle.
We support the '5 a day' campaign to encourage children to eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, which has been shown to reduce the onset of certain life-threatening conditions as well as being helpful in tackling and preventing childhood obesity. We therefore ensure that washed and cut fresh fruit is available each day for the children as a morning break time snack. The children are given responsibility for passing the fruit to others and for helping to clear away.

Children have the option of having a packed lunch or a hot school meal. All our hot school meals are provided by Caterlink a contracted caterer who has a healthy food policy as part of their tender. Where possible, this includes the use of fresh fruit and vegetables each day as a choice for the children. They provide a hot and cold option, both of which pay regard to nutritional balance and healthy options. Hot school meals must be ordered two weeks in advance. If you would like to order hot school meals for your child please book via your Parentmail account.

We are always looking at ways of increasing the effectiveness of our communication with our parents. The lunchtime experience is every bit an important part of the children’s day as time spent in the classroom.

Many children bring packed lunch to school. We regularly include newsletter items about the contents of these and we do not allow sweets, chocolate bars (although we do allow chocolate covered biscuits at present) or fizzy drinks. We currently have pupils and members of staff who suffer with a peanut allergy and we therefore have a duty under the management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992 and guidance from the Department for Education to reduce the risk of exposure for these individuals. The headteacher has therefore asked that no nut products are brought into our school.

We ask that every child is sent into school each day with a named water bottle so that they can be encouraged to drink and refill regularly throughout the school day.
All our under-fives are entitled to free milk which is organised by the school and parents can purchase orange juice for their child if they wish. Please request further information from the school office.
The partnership of home and school is critical in shaping how children and young people behave, particularly where health is concerned. Each must reinforce the other.

Parents and carers are regularly updated on our water and packed lunch policies through school and class newsletters. We ask parents not to send in fizzy drinks and we remind them that only water may be drunk during the school day, except at lunch when children may drink juice or squash as part of their packed lunch provided from home.

Free School Meals - Important Information
If your child is eligible for Free School Meals (see criteria below) it would be in your interest to register. Even if they don't want the meals, it will enable the school to access £900 to support your child. Please speak to the school office to discuss it further. Thank you.

To get free school meals, you must be in receipt of one of the following qualifying benefits:

  • Income support (IS) or

  • Child tax credit, provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual taxable income (as assessed by The Inland Revenue) which from 6 April 2011 does not exceed £16,190

  • Income based Job Seekers Allowance (IB JSA) or

  • Employment Support Allowance (Income Related) (ASA(IRA) or

  • Guaranteed Element of State Pension Credit

  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

From 1 May 2009 where a parent is entitled to Working Tax Credit during the four week period immediately after their employment ceases, or after they start to work less than 16 hours per week, their children are entitled to free school lunches. More information can be obtained from:

Free School Lunches

Further links: