At John Wilkinson Primary School, we adopt a family dining approach to the school lunchtime experience for children.
Family dining allows children to eat in groups with children from other year groups. It encourages older children to support younger children and so fosters positive relationships throughout the whole school. Being part of a community is an integral part of our school, and cooperation, responsibility and respect are values which we believe should be evident at all times of the day, including lunchtimes.
Instead of a canteen approach to serving dinners where children queue up for food, family dining allows children the opportunity to sit at a table straight away, to have food served by older children under the guidance of a staff member and to eat in a sociable way. The children also enjoy the opportunity to sit with staff occasionally to chat and share a tasty meal together.
We organise our lunch hour into three sittings where children eat alongside children from other classes, making it a very civilised dining experience:
Sitting 1: Reception, Year 1 and Year 2
Sitting 2: Year 3 and Year 4
Sitting 3: Year 5 and Year 6
The food is served to the table and the older children serve this onto plates. These children are trained how to serve food so they are always safe and responsible. Family dining provides the opportunity for all children to really get to know each other and also for us as a community to enjoy our lunch in a calm, pleasant and enjoyable way.
At the table, children enjoy the hot meal alongside bread and salad which is available for all. Desserts are served after the hot meal and there is always a fruit option should children prefer this. We have a wonderful catering team who specialise in providing healthy, nutritious and delicious food with plenty of variety and all food allergies and dietary requirements are catered for. To help ensure the meal choices are what the children really enjoy, we have established a children's committee of representatives from each class who are given the opportunity to consult regularly with their class peers on food preferences, and use this information to help influence future menus with our catering team’s advice and support.
Children who decide they would prefer a packed lunch also eat in the hall so that, as a school community, we enjoy a shared lunchtime experience together.
If you are interested in your child having school dinners please contact the school office where they will be able to give you further information.