We are delighted to announce that Field Lane Junior, Infant & Nursery School have been awarded their Food for Life Gold Award! Our co-founder, Jeannette Orrey, visited the school for their gold inspection and was delighted and impressed by all the fantastic work being done at the setting. The school does face some challenges as it is in an area with some deprivation, with many children for whom English was not their first language. However, the central belief of the headteacher, senior management and teachers is that every child counts, and it really shows! Jeanette was welcomed by lots of very smiley faces and said it was a pleasure to see.
The school hall was relatively small but at 12pm it turned into a bustling dining room with lots of chatter and children tucking into school dinners and packed lunches together. There were two excellent lunchtime helpers who were dishing out salad and going around the dining hall to see if anyone would like any more. They were supported by mid-day supervisors and there was a great friendly atmosphere.
During the inspection Jeannette was impressed by the communication between parents and the school. She met with parents who were well informed about the work the school was doing with Food for Life and it was great to see members of the local community involved. Parents couldn’t speak highly enough of the school.
The teacher who takes the cookery lessons is a trained chef, so has some fantastic knowledge and experience to share. They have lovely cooking facilities and were having a cookery lesson on the day of their inspection. Jeannette was very impressed by the level of skill and knowledge that the children had and they told her they now even go home and cook with their parents.
The school uses every available space for growing and they have strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, white currents, apples, pears and potatoes. They have created a fantastic growing space from salvaged and recycled materials from various places. They have planted trees on a piece of land outside the school where parents and grandparents come to help - even some children who have moved onto secondary school come back to lend a hand!
The whole school has championed and embraced the work they are doing with Food for Life, the children were all delighted to tell Jeannette what they had been up to and what they had been growing in the garden space. Jeannette said it was “an absolute delight to visit this school and see the great work they have done. The way they have used Food for Life to fit into every part of the curriculum was inspirational!”
Hilary Towers-Islam, headteacher, told us:
“I'd just like to say that our incredibly talented and dedicated Field Lane team have worked together with our parents over the past few years to ensure that the Food for Life culture permeates everything we do. As a result, we hope to have inspired a whole new generation of chefs, gardeners and young citizens who care about the environment and the impact we have on the world. We are so pleased to have achieved our Gold Award and would like to thank the Soil Association and Food for Life team for all their support.”Congratulations to everyone at Field Lane Junior, Infant and Nursery School, a very well-deserved achievement!
Find out more about the Food for Life School programme here.