As educators we are very aware of the importance that food and drink have in affecting the ability of our children to learn effectively.  In addition, it is obvious that we as a nation are facing a childhood obesity problem with further complications and links to Cancer and Diabetes.  This is clearly linked to our young people making the right choices in their diet.  At St Joseph’s Primary School we are committed to giving all our pupils consistent messages about all aspects of health to help them understand the impact of particular behaviour(s) and encourage them to take responsibility for the choices they make.


We recognise that sharing food is a fundamental experience for all people; a primary way to nurture and celebrate our cultural diversity; and an excellent bridge for building friendships, and inter-generational bonds.




St Joseph’s is a healthy school.  It is important that we consider all elements of our work to ensure that we promote health awareness in all members of the school community.  We can provide a valuable role model to pupils and their families with regard to food and healthy eating patterns.


Through effective leadership, the school ethos and the curriculum, all staff bring together all elements of the school day to create an environment which supports a healthy lifestyle.


Aims and Objectives


As a healthy school we can and will help our children to make informed choices by:

  • Ensuring that we are giving consistent messages about food and health by helping to influence their eating habits through increasing their knowledge and awareness of food issues including food hygiene and what constitutes healthy eating.
  • Providing an opportunity for pupils to plan recipes, budget, prepare and cook food.
  • Increasing pupils’ knowledge of food production, manufacturing, distribution and marketing practices, and their impact on both health and the environment.
  • Ensuring pupils are well nourished at school, and that every pupil has access to safe, tasty and nutritious food, and a safe available water supply during the school day.
  • Ensuring that food provision in the school reflects the ethical, medical requirements of pupils and staff e.g. religious, ethnic, vegetarian, medical and allergic needs.
  • Making the provision and consumption of food an enjoyable and safe experience in a pleasurable and dedicated environment.
  • Helping the children make informed choices and guide them whenever possible.
  • Introducing and promoting practices within the school to reinforce these aims, and removing or discourage practices that do not support them.
  • Monitoring menus and food choices to inform policy development and provision.


Food Provision within School


We do not use vending machines in our school.  Currently we do not run a tuck shop but if we decide to do so in the future, the food policy would be applied to all items sold.


Breakfast Club


The breakfast club runs on a daily basis during term time.  For breakfast the children are provided with a variety of healthy options such as fruit salad, eggs, toast, low fat spread, fruit jam and low salt/low sugar fortified cereals.  Children choose from water, fresh orange juice and fresh apple juice to drink.


We currently do not operate an after school club but we are looking to do so and once implemented our policy would be applied, with only healthy snacks and water allowed.


Snacks during the School Day


Nursery children have milk to drink and this is organised by nursery staff.  All Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 children have a ‘snack’ in the morning.  The `snack’ provided is fresh fruit.  Key Stage 2 children can bring in fresh fruit to eat at break time should they so wish.


We do not support or encourage the giving of sweets, chocolate biscuits or cakes as snacks or rewards during the school day, except in exceptional circumstances as determined by the Headteacher e.g. Christmas.  All staff are expected to comply with this on a daily basis. Furthermore, given that:


  1. We are a healthy school and wish to retain our status
  2. We have a number of children with food allergies
  3. To maximise learning time


parents are not encouraged to send these items into school.


Water for All


We encourage children to bring bottled water to school and they have free access to this during throughout the school day except during liturgies. At lunchtime, water is available in the dining room.


School Meals


All our school meals are provided by the Local Authority contracted caterer and planned to meet government nutritional guidelines.     


We will make special provision for children identified as having a nut, egg or dairy allergy.


We expect to seek the best possible display of good behaviour and manner when:


  • Eating in the dining environment
  • Assisting the lunchtime staff in taking responsibility on clearing one’s own waste food


Packed Lunch Boxes from Home


We actively encourage children to bring a healthy packed lunch and promote this


  • As part of the Reception Class Induction programme to parents
  • Written guidance contained in the School Prospectus and School Newsletter


We suggest that a healthy packed lunch should contain a variety of items that should include:


  • At least one portion of fruit and one portion of vegetables every day
  • Meat, fish or other source of non dairy protein (e.g. lentils, kidney beans, chick peas, humus and peanut butter) every day
  • Oily fish such as salmon, at least once every three weeks
  • A starchy food such as any type of bread, pasta, rice, couscous, noodles or potatoes or other types of cereals every day
  • Dairy food such as milk, cheese, yoghurt, fromage frais or custard every day
  • Only water, fresh fruit juice, semi-skimmed or skimmed milk, yoghurt or milk drinks and smoothies (no fizzy pop)


Glass bottles, cans or other containers that could be dangerous are not allowed.  Children are also requested to take unfinished food and containers home so that parents can monitor what their child is eating.


The school reserves the right to occasionally provide information to parents in promoting and guiding healthy options.


At lunchtime water is available in the dining room.


Food Across the Curriculum


In the Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, there are a number of opportunities for pupils to develop knowledge and understanding of health, including healthy eating patterns and practical skills that are needed to understand where food comes from such as shopping, preparing and cooking food.


Raising pupil’s awareness of food and healthy eating links to many areas of the curriculum.  The following are identified within the Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 curriculum entitlement:


  • Science provides an opportunity to learn about the types of food available, their nutritional composition, digestion and the function of different nutrients contributing to health, and how the body responds to exercise


  • Religious Education provides the opportunity to discuss the role of certain foods in the major religions of the world.  Children experience different foods associated with religious festivals


  • ICT provides the opportunity for pupils to research food issues using the Internet.  Pupils can design packaging and adverts to promote healthy food choices


  • Food technology as part of Design Technology provides the opportunity to learn about where food comes from and apply healthy eating messages through practical work with food, including preparation and cooking


  • Personal Social Health and Citizenship Education encourages pupils to take responsibility for their own health and well being. It teaches them how to develop a healthy lifestyle and address issues such as hygiene as body image.


  • Geography provides a focus on the natural world and changing environment, encouraging pupils to think about food production, children in other countries and the impact poor harvest etc may have on their well being


  • History provides insight into changes in diet and food over time


  • Physical education provides pupils with the opportunity to develop physically and to understand the practical impact of sport, exercise and other physical activity such as dance, swimming etc


  • School visits and visitors also provide pupils with opportunities to enhance their physical development (e.g. to Derwent Hill) and broaden their knowledge and understanding of healthy eating (e.g. Year 5 food technology visits to St Anthony’s)


Vital to the delivery of this is the use of the partnerships available to school to promote healthy eating and drinking:


  • School Nurse
  • Sunderland City Council
  • CAFOD and Fair Trade
  • Partner secondary schools – St Anthony’s and St Aidans

Working in Partnership


If our policy is to be effective it needs to be embraced by all stakeholders:


  • School Management and Governors
  • All school staff
  • Pupils
  • Parents
  • Food Providers
  • The school’s wider community


The partnership with parents is particularly critical in shaping how children and young people behave, particularly where health is concerned.  Parents and carers are updated on our water and packed lunch policies through school newsletters.  We ask parents not to send in fizzy drinks and we remind them that only water can be drunk during lessons.


Role of Governors


Governors monitor and check that the school policy is upheld.  They also offer feedback from parents.


Monitoring and Evaluation


We will establish an effective structure to oversee the development, implementation and monitoring of this policy.


Consultation should be ensured throughout the process with priority given to the view of pupils.  This will be achieved by:


  • Seeking the assistance of the School Council in discussing issues and proposals
  • Surveying children both informally on a day to day basis and formally throughout class as part of Healthy School Initiatives
  • Seeking feedback on particular promotions initiated by the contractor


Parental concerns and issues will be dealt with promptly including putting them in touch with the contractor should responsibility lie with them.


Review Arrangements


The Headteacher will report to governors at least annually on the success in implementing this policy.


The Governing Body will review this policy biannually. They governors may, however, review the policy earlier than this, if the government introduces new regulations, or if the Governing Body receives recommendations on how the policy might be improved.


All staff are expected to comply fully with the requirements of this policy and associated procedures. Failure to do so may be a disciplinary offence.



Date of Policy 23 May 2011