We aim to encourage healthy eating and children learn about good nutrition within school. They are encouraged to eat their “5 a day” and drink plenty of water, which is freely available around the school site.
Children must not bring nuts or nut-based products into the school – this is to protect and safeguard pupils and staff with nut-based allergies.
Break time food
Children are welcome to bring in a snack for morning break time. We would prefer this to be a healthy item, such as a piece of fruit or a sandwich with a wholesome filling.
We encourage pupils to bring in a plastic water bottle to ensure that they remain hydrated throughout the day. Glass bottles or fizzy drinks are not permitted.
A tuckshop operates daily and provides pupils with the opportunity to purchase snacks.
Pupils may either bring a packed lunch (in a named, sealed box or bag but no glass bottles, fizzy drinks or cans please), or they may take a lunch prepared by our contracted caterers, Hertfordshire Catering Limited (HCL), in our dining hall.
We monitor the meals provision closely and pride ourselves on the production of healthy and wholesome meals made daily in our kitchen, using fresh ingredients. We are committed to providing fresh, high quality & healthy food, whilst offering a varied and balanced diet, and encouraging in our pupils a lifelong interest in nutrition. There is always a choice of either a meat or vegetarian meal and there is a salad bar from which children can serve themselves.
The school lunch menu changes daily, on a three week rolling schedule, and is published on our website and school Facebook page at the beginning of term following the Easter holidays and October half term break.
Special Dietary Requirements
Our kitchen team is committed to providing alternative food for pupils with medically proven food allergies. Parents or carers must inform the school about any such allergies in writing, providing evidence, e.g. a letter from their GP or hospital.
If your child has any special dietary requirements, and requires a special menu, HCL will not be able to feed your child until you have registered for a special menu and the request has been accepted and acknowledged.
Festive Christmas Dinner
The children enjoy an extended lunchtime, with carols playing, and staff serve the pupils. The choices typically are turkey, and a vegetarian option, and every child receives a novelty chocolate or two.
Usually, all children take part and enjoy a special festive meal, even if they usually eat a packed lunch. Check on the school calendar to see when the special dinner is happening each year. It is a fun time, with all pupils and staff joining in the festivities!
Cost of school dinners
The price of a school dinner is £2.85 per meal. On occasion, the price might be slightly higher when special dinners e.g. Festive Christmas Dinner are served.
|Term Time||Dates||Days||Total Cost|
|Autumn Term 1 2021||02/09/21 - 22/10/21||37||£96.20|
|Autumn Term 2 2021||01/11/21 - 21/12/21||35||£91.40|
|Spring Term 1 2022||06/01/22 - 11/02/22||27||£70.20|
|Spring Term 2 2022||21/02/22 - 01/04/22||30||£78.00|
|Summer Term 1 2022||20/04/22 - 26/05/22||25||£65.00|
|Summer Term 2 2022||07/06/22 - 21/07/22||32||£83.20|
We operate a cashless, biometric finger scan system for school meals. Both staff and pupils use this system with the benefits of reduced queueing, fast, secure transactions and no stigma being attached to Free School Meal recipients. There is no image of the fingerprint stored, but a series of digits is created so the computer can recognise a pupil/member of staff when their finger is placed on a scanner.
For pupils who are not free school meals, cash for meals is paid into their account and as food is purchased with the biometric scan the balance is updated so parents/carers can see how much money their child has left. Parents/Carers can ‘top-up’ their child’s account as and when required.
Written parental/carer consent is sought prior to the school taking and processing the pupil’s biometric data. The school treats all data with appropriate care and it complies with data protection principles as set out in the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. Ralph Sadleir School also provides alternative means where a parent/carer has refused consent.
Free School Meals
We know that some families may be reluctant to enquire about eligibility for free school meals but we want to ensure that any child entitled to receive them can do so in an easy and discreet manner. Children are not identified to their peers as being in receipt of free meals.
If your child is eligible for free school meals, they’ll remain eligible until March 2023, or until they finish their current phase of schooling (primary or secondary), if that’s after the end of March 2023.
Free school meals are available to any family in receipt of one of the following benefits:
- 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 (as long as you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and you don’t get more than £16,190 a year)
- Working Tax Credit run-on (paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
- Universal Credit (with annual earned income of no more than £7,400 after tax and not including any benefits you get).
Apply today if you receive any of the benefits mentioned above. It only takes 5 minutes and in most cases you will be told straight away if your child can get free meals at school.
Registering not only provides your child with free healthy meals every lunchtime, but also raises an additional [primary pupil] £1,320 [secondary pupil] £900 for the school from the government. This money is used by the school to offer pupils invaluable additional support and to fund enrichment activities.
Free School Meals on Cashless Catering
All Free School Meal entitlements will be entered on to the Cashless Catering System as soon as the school is informed of the entitlement. The Cashless Catering System will, on a daily basis, automatically allocate the appropriate accounts with the Free School Meal amounts. Any monies not spent from the daily allocation will not be carried over to the next day.
Dinner money payments can only be made online and must be paid in advance. Please pay weekly or half-termly in advance for any meals being taken.
The school cannot be held responsible for failure of payment. It is the parent/carer’s responsibility to ensure that there is sufficient credit each day in order for your child/ren to be provided with a school dinner.
The school has procedures in place for when accounts are in arrears.
Cook Manager – Mrs Bartlett