Background of the survey
Governors at Crosby spend quality time in school with staff and children, observing lessons, meeting with staff and sharing successes at event days. But we recognised that much of our interaction with the children was linked very closely to the formal side of governance – ensuring standards are high, checking health and safety, lesson observations – and we wanted to get some real feedback from the children on life at school. So, while we looked at the requirements of the new food policy, we came up with the great idea of a meal survey among the children. You can find the survey here. This was our opportunity to find out from the children themselves what they liked about their meals, and what ideas they could come up with for new meals. Freda, our great school cook, very willingly agreed to our proposal, which is a huge task because she has to factor in so many legal food requirements and without her enthusiasm for the project we would not have been able to carry out the survey with the promise of change at the end of it. Our sincere thanks to Freda for all her help in making this happen.
Benefits of the survey
Governors were delighted with the huge range of responses form the children and the amazing ideas they produced for theme days. Princess Day and Lego Day were some of the super ideas, but the first two successful themes have already run – Immy’s Italian Day, and Samuel’s Cowboy Day, with much fun by all as the children’s report shows. Responses came from almost every family; it delighted governors that interest was so high. It was also a very real survey, the results of which have made an impact on every day school life: menu preferences have been built in to a new menu that is now running successfully and continues to meet and exceed required food standards. As a school that promotes British Values, we were delighted that the children were consulted, listened to, and their wishes implemented in a delightful way.
Outcomes and next steps
As a result of the survey, governors asked Mr Priestley if the children could do some follow up work with some interviews to find out how successful the new menu has been. The children of class 2 did a project on this in class for most of the week, which they have recorded with help from their student teacher here. All children wrote about their favourite school meals then were sent off in small groups to interview Freda, nursery and class 1. Their questions included:
Q. Which is the hardest meal to prepare?
A. Christmas dinner
Q. What is your favourite meal on the menu?
A. Roast ham with cheese and red onion flan, coleslaw and sweet chilli pasta
Q. Are you good at making snowmen? (Mr Priestley thinks this is a reference to the fact that Freda decorates biscuits so nicely and creates seasonally themed iced toppings!
Governors would like to have established a bit more about the social side of lunchtimes, and the environment the children share for their meals, but that is a challenge for the next survey perhaps?
Please click here to access the latest dinner menu.