Our school lunches are cooked on the premises and always include freshly baked wholemeal bread, a salad bar and fresh fruit. We try to use local and organic ingredients where possible. Our kitchen is nut free and there are daily gluten free and vegan options.
OUR FOOD VISION
Our Head Chef is Helen Cottle. Helen and the kitchen team cook as much of the school lunch food as possible from scratch. They use a variety of ingredients and choose flavours that the children enjoy.
- We chop vegetables by hand and experiment with textures. For example with carrots we have batons and we also grate carrots for coleslaw and shave into ribbons for salads.
- We put salads on the tables for the children to share and choose themselves - this is a good social experience for the children and they also seem to especially enjoy food when they feel able to choose.
- We have fresh fish to the menu each week.
- We talk and listen to the children, encouraging them to try things and asking what they think of the food.
- We regularly review the menu and adapt it according to feedback from the children.
Our current school lunch menus are attached. Please note allergens are marked on the menus in the following way:
D = Dairy, G = Gluten E = Egg, S/S = Sesame, F = Fish, SF= Shellfish).
The menus are always evolving and Helen is constantly tweaking them based on observations and comments from the children. The menus are also subject to change sometimes due to what our producers have in stock.
We would love to have your feedback on both the menus and school lunches - please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Cost and Payments for School Lunches
The cost of dinners for a week is £8.75 unless your child is in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 in which case they are free (see below). Please pay your dinner money in advance online - see the SCO Online Payment page in the Parents & Carers section of our website.
Children in the Infants (Reception, Years 1 and 2) receive a free piece of fruit each day at morning break time.
Water is provided for all children at lunch time and throughout the day.
Free School Meals
From September 2014 all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 can receive Universal Free School Meals. Please see the application form attached below which needs to be completed by parents/carers and handed in to the Hackney Learning Trust. If you have a child in Nursery (full time place) or Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 you may be able to claim Free School Meals. Please see the information leaflet below giving information about whether you could qualify for Free School Meals. A Free School Meals application form is also attached below. This needs to be completed and handed in to the Hackney Learning Trust.
Food Education and Enjoyment
Our aim is to bring fun food education into the school restaurant and bring staff from the kitchen into the classroom to talk to the children about cooking and the ingredients they use. For example growing mushrooms, cress or strawberries, cooking with them and eating them. We have a school kitchen garden and welcome volunteers for this project. Please do get in touch if you'd like to be involved.
We also arrange regular trips to The Hackney School of Food (which is based on the site of one of our partner schools Mandeville Primary School) where the children learn about food and nutrition, take part in age appropriate cooking lessons in the specially designed teaching kitchen and learn about where food comes from and how it is grown, picking and using fruits, vegetables and herbs grown in the School of Food's extensive garden, orchard and vegetable beds (www.hackneyschooloffood.com)
At lunchtime children from Reception up to Year 6, who follow all of our dining hall rules, have a chance to gain an invitation to eat at the Captain's Table. This is a very special table, set up in the dining hall every three weeks. It has a table cloth, glasses, china plates and bowls, a bread basket, juice and a special desert made by our chef.
Each day, children who follow the dining hall rules are given special tickets which go into the Captain's Table box. There is no limit to how many tickets children can receive.
Every three weeks names are pulled out of the box. The chosen children are awarded a golden envelope with their invitation to join the Captain's Table.
The Gayhurst Dining Hall Rules
- We remember to use good table manners
- We use a knife and fork
- We always walk in the dining hall
- We put our hand up if we need help
- We always talk in a quiet voice and wait our turn to speak.