At Wolgarston High School we have been running our own in house catering service for several years now, following an extensive refurbishment and extension of the dining and kitchen facilities. This work was carried at as part of the Healthy Schools agenda to which Wolgarston High School is fully committed.
Recently at Wolgarston we have purchased a recycling machine for the pupils to dispose of their paper cups, cans and plastic bottles. This reduces land fill therefore reducing our carbon footprint.
In April 2016, as part of The Penk Valley Federation, the catering at Penkridge Middle School was also taken in house, with a further 2 schools to be included next year (Marshbrook First School and Princefield First School). This has proved to be successful and we are delighted with the initial feedback we have received.
What guidelines do we follow?
We work in line with national nutritional standards to ensure that our students are properly supported with developing good eating habits. All food in schools must meet nutritional standards so that students have healthy, balanced diets.
This means there must be:
• high-quality meat, poultry or oily fish
• at least 2 portions of fruit and vegetables with every meal
• bread, other cereals and potatoes
Research shows that there may be reasons other than food quality which discourage students from eating school food eg:
• Negative opinion of canteen atmosphere
• long queues to receive or pay for food
• stigma associated with FSMs or eating school food
• food not competitively priced with local shops
• limited food availability and choice
• offers food children do not like or want to eat
We are constantly aiming to improve and develop this service to best support the needs of the student; we have increased the number of outlets available for students to purchase food from. Students often support with menu creation especially within the main meals area.
The school was successful in gaining the Food Hygiene Rating at the highest level (Grade 5) in Dec 2014. This is in recognition of the work carried out by the team on a routine basis to keep our kitchens spotless.
It is essential that if you are eligible for Free School Meals that you claim as the school will receive additional funding as well as your child being able to choose a daily healthy lunch.
Your child will be eligible for Free School Meals, if you get any of the following support:
• Income Support
• Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
• Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
• Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
• the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
• Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
• Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
• Universal Credit
Staffordshire County Council have introduced an on line application which parents can complete themselves; or with support from school staff, this provides a confirmation of entitlement and the start date can be printed if required. You can apply directly: www.staffordshire.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals.
Children who receive a qualifying benefit in their own right are also allowed to receive free school meals. If you need any support in applying for free school meals, please contact Miss Harding on 01785 788411 (direct number), who will support you with this.
The highly skilled catering team at Wolgarston strive to accommodate the needs of all pupils and ensure that there is a wide variety of healthy food and drinks available at affordable prices.
The team believe that healthy eating plays a major role in setting the foundations to academic success; regular healthy meals (in particular breakfast) improve concentration in the classroom and reinforce good lifestyle choices that students will benefit from in their adult lives. In addition to this, the team provide a relaxed environment in which pupils can socialise with their friends over a meal.
Meet the Team
Richard Wood – Catering Co-ordinator – Level 2 Food Safety and Hygiene
Richard joined the team in February 2013. He brings with him over 24 years’ experience in the catering trade. He is passionate about food and ensures that both staff and pupils are served nutritious and wholesome meals. Richard develops the menus, orders and sources ingredients, ensures Health and Safety regulations are fully adhered to as well as having an overview of staffing and the business side of the kitchen.
Karen Botten – Assistant Catering Co-ordinator – Level 2 Food Safety and Hygiene
Karen was promoted to Assistant Catering Co-ordinator in January 2012. She worked alongside the Catering Co-ordinator to ensure that new routines/processes were fully developed when moving the service in house. Her main duties are baking homemade cakes, co-ordinating the finances and working on the till at break time and lunch.
Jane Jarvis – Catering Assistant – Level 2 Food Safety and Hygiene
Jane is the newest member of the team. She has quickly developed into this role, with her main duties being preparing sandwiches and ensuring the kitchen runs smoothly. Jane also helps serve the main meals in the dining room.
Joanne McDonald – Catering Assistant – Level 2 Food Safety and Hygiene
Joanne joined the team in January 2012. Her main duties are preparing the Paninis for break times and lunch. She also works the till throughout the day’s service.
Tracy Jukes – Catering Assistant – Level 2 Food Safety and Hygiene
Tracy is the longest serving member of the team. She supported the school in ensuring the transition towards in house catering was smooth. Her main duties are preparing fresh sandwiches and serving pasta dishes at lunchtime.
Susan Brown – Catering Assistant – Level 2 Food Safety and Hygiene
Susan has recently joined the kitchen team at Wolgarston, previously working at Staffordshire University Academy. Susan has been in the catering industry for 13 years and has increased the sales of the chilled foods in our cabinet. We are looking at more healthy options this year to benefit the students further.
Supporting Educational Programmes
The catering team are currently liaising with teaching staff to promote the education of food technology within the school’s curriculum which will lead to opportunities for students to gain in-house experience in the catering trade.
Catering events: The team actively seeks opportunities to provide students with different eating experiences. Chinese New Year, sporting events, Christmas meals, Easter time, Red Nose Day etc are all supported the catering team and they ensure the canteen is decorated and menus changed to reflect these events.
Please click to see a sample of the kitchen menu 2017-2018.