Crosby Ravensworth CE Primary School has been awarded the Food for Life Bronze Award for its healthy and climate-friendly food culture.
The school is working with the Soil Association’s Food for Life programme to transform its food culture and that of its local community by connecting children with climate-friendly and healthy food.
The Bronze Award recognises school activities that make a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of pupils and their families by encouraging them to eat, cook and grow good food.
School meals at Crosby are fresh and seasonal, with at least 75% of all meals freshly prepared by our experienced school cook Freda Smith. The school has installed growing beds and includes produce grown and harvested by pupils on its menus.
Every pupil has the opportunity to visit a farm, cook food and participate in growing activities during their time at school, while pupils and parents are involved in making improvements to the school’s menu and dining experience.
Since beginning the Food for Life programme, pupils have visited Growing Well, a mental health charity and organic farm, where they enjoyed a cookery lesson as part of a ‘Chef on a Farm’ event organised by LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming). They have also visited local box scheme Vista Veg to learn how to grow from seed.
Another highlight of the programme was a sausage-making masterclass with David Morland, head of butchery at Tebay Services, which has supported the school’s participation in Food for Life using funds from customer donations and the Westmorland Community Fund.
Headteacher Duncan Priestley said: “Every child in our school learns about climate-friendly healthy eating from a young age. We made the commitment to projects such as installing growing beds, and we took our catering in-house so we could have more control over the menus. Our children now spend more time visiting places such as orchards, farm shops and agricultural shows to connect their learning about food provenance.”
Claire Urquhart, Community Manager for Tebay Services, said: “Food for Life is a really exciting project for us to be involved in. It gives local primary school children the chance to immerse themselves in an exciting enterprise project in which they learn about food and farming, whilst encouraging a better understanding of food and its benefits to life, health and wellbeing.”
Independent research summarised in a new report, ‘Good Food for All’, reveals the positive impact of Food for Life on children’s health, tackling inequalities, improving education and local enterprise and sustainability.