Whole School Food Policy Rathnure N.S
Our school, is dedicated to providing an environment that promotes healthy eating and enables all to make informed choices about all aspects of food and not just the lunchbox. It is our aim to make the healthier choice, the easier choice. With this in mind, our Whole School Food Policy was formulated and guided by Irish Healthy Eating Guidelines and Irish Food Pyramid and Healthy Lifestyles Circular 0013/2016.
The policy was developed by our Health Promoting Schools Committee, in consultation with staff, pupils and parents under the headings of Environment, Curriculum and Learning, Policy and Planning and Partnerships.
The aims of our policy are:
- To take a whole school approach to food in school in relation to : the environment (social and physical), curriculum and learning, policy and planning and partnerships.
- To promote healthy eating across school life, consistent with national healthy eating guidelines and school curriculum.
- To ensure that food provision in school reflects the ethical and medical requirements of staff and pupils, e.g. religious, ethnic, vegetarian, medical and allergenic needs, (Appendix 1).
- To make the provision and consumption of food an enjoyable and safe experience.
- To make the “healthier choices the easier choice”.
- To promote nutritional awareness e.g. looking at food labels.
- To support the schools Green Flag commitments by facilitating the use of reusable water containers, minimum use of wrappers etc.
Objectives: : We will endeavour to have to following measures in place to enable us to achieve our overall aims.
- Providing access to filtered water within the classrooms using reusable water containers.
- Ensuring adequate time to eat lunches in a comfortable environment.
- Ensuring adequate handwashing facilities are available in all classes and encourage everyone to engage in good hand hygiene before eating, after using toilets etc.
- Non-food rewards will predominantly be used in order to reward good work and behaviour.
- A culture of healthy eating will be encouraged and lists of suitable/unsuitable lunch time foods are available in Appendix 2. This culture of healthy eating will be modelled by adults in the school also.
Curriculum and Planning:
- Through the S.P.H.E, Science and P.E curriculums, pupils will gain the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions regarding healthy eating and lifestyle choices.
- Through involvement in the sewing, maintaining and harvesting fruit and vegetables in the school polytunnel, pupils will be encouraged to make healthier choices.
- Staff professional development around healthy eating and lifestyle choices is encouraged.
- Suitable resources from reputable agencies will be used to deliver key message of the Whole School Food policy such as Hand-washing techniques, reading food labels and using the Food Pyramid to make healthy food choices.
- The school may choose to compliment the S.P.H.E curriculum using the guidelines in Circular 0022/2010 “Social, Personal and Health Education, Best Practice Guidelines for Primary Schools.”
Policy and Planning:
- Every effort will be made to plan S.P.H.E/healthy eating lessons at similar times across class groups and throughout the whole school.
- The Whole School Food Policy will be implemented in conjunction with other relevant policies such as Science, P.E, S.P.H.E and Health and Safety.
- External meal providers will be provided with a copy of our Whole School Food policy.
- The school will communicate our Whole School Food policy to the following groups in order to ensure its successful implementation. These groups include, The Parent’s Association, parents of new infants and external partners that support the school curriculum such as sporting partners and lunch providers.
- The school will endeavour to participate in programmes that promote positive food and health choices such as Food Dudes and Grow your own initiatives.
In order to achieve successful implementation of the Whole School Food policy, it is essential that all parties are aware of, and take ownership of the document. The policy will be available on the school website to be viewed by all interested parties. Pupils will be made aware of the policy through S.P.H.E lessons. Along with this, the policy will be circulated to the Parents Association with a view to obtaining their feedback on the content. The policy will be presented to the Board of Management for ratification
It is hoped that this policy will be fully implemented from December 2017, following review by staff, Parents and the Board of Management. Class teachers and the HPS committee will monitor the effectiveness of the policy and suggest changes to policy as necessary.