Featured school - St Margaret's Academy in Torbay

Sian Creagh-Osborne, Food for Life Awards Programe Manager 

Sian C OThis term we’re heading down to the south coast and taking a look at St Margaret’s Academy in Torbay.

St Margret’s have been working hard on their Bronze application and we were able to officially award them on the first day back of 2017 (which really started things on a high and helped us feel like 2017 is going to be a great year for Awards). In their Bronze application they made us all smile with the sheer volume of  growing they are doing but still humbly letting us know ‘they are only just getting started with this one’. They now have eight vegetable beds and a large greenhouse as well as four established apple trees, three plum trees, a damson tree, blackberries and strawberries. Wow! With all of that going on we certainly want to swing by during harvest time at St. Margaret’s.

School Headteacher Sue Stell has been a driving force behind change in the school and even enlisted the help and support of Food for Life Gold school chef Sam Ward to help them on their FFL journey.

Sue Stell said this about their FFL journey so far: 

“Registering with Food For Life has been a very rewarding experience as it has made us audit our food provision and the food culture within the school. The children are now very much involved in decision making around food education and menu choices. We have been supported by FFL Gold School Catering Manager, Sam Ward to develop healthy and seasonal menus since taking the catering in-house and the children have enjoyed having tasting tables to try out new foods. Our salad bar is now full of foods the parents are surprised to hear their child will eat: alfalfa sprouts, olives, celery, radishes, and more besides.

The families are also involved in growing and gardening and we had a successful first year, growing salad, vegetables and fruit which all got used in our menus or were used in class cooking lessons. 

Cooking now features highly in our curriculum and we have built a kitchen and cooking area for the children and just recently, have been involved with Dartington Trust to build a cob oven in our orchard. We can cook indoors and outdoors now! 

The next project for the children is to set up a healthy tuck shop and a school market stall for selling off any surplus fruit and veg, which we hope to have in place very soon!”

Sam Ward added:

“St Margarets have really embraced the Food For Life ethos whole heartedly! It really does make a difference when the vision and passion for embedding Food For Life is led from the top. Sue Stell, head teacher has placed great importance and value on all aspects of the food for life framework, which in turn has had a positive effect on staff, pupils and the whole school community. I am so proud of what they have achieved and the exciting Food For Life journey they are still on.”

Well done St Margrets for all your hard work in getting to Bronze, and we are really excited to be working with you on Silver and beyond! 

Have you been inspired by St Margarets? Find out more about our School Awards programme here.

Cob oven

Children making the cob oven. 


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