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Overdale Junior School

Working Together, Learning Together

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Summer 2020

Good news! Overdale achieves the Gold Food for Life award.

We are delighted to announce that Overdale Junior School has achieved the prestigious Gold Food for Life award from the Soil Association. It’s the first Gold award in Leicester city and one of about 20 in the country. With childhood obesity on the increase Food for Life (FfL) is commissioned by Public Health in Leicester City to offer support to schools to help children achieve healthier lifestyles through making the right choices about food. There is also a strong emphasis on community involvement.

Retiring headteacher Juliet Hart said: “The Gold Food for Life award is prestigious and gives recognition to the tremendous work of the staff, in particular Mrs Cooper who has led the way over the last 7 years. It acknowledges the excellent opportunities the children and families have had following this initiative. The Food for Life program has become an integral part of the diverse learning experiences we offer.”

During her time at Overdale Mrs Hart has developed a strong ‘health for all’ ethos. All pupils take part in cookery lessons and growing, gardening and other outdoor activities in the school. The commitment to FfL has grown year on year and the school has embraced every aspect from teaching cooking skills and healthy eating, to growing food, going on farm trips, developing a healthy tuck shop, holding family cookery sessions, learning about where food comes from and holding community events like the School Farmer’s Market.

Overdale Junior school was the first school in Leicester to gain the Bronze Food for Life award in 2015 and similarly the Silver award in 2018. Since Autumn 2019 the caterers, (LTS Catering), have provided a Gold menu which is continually developed by the School Nutrition Action Group who meet regularly with the catering team. The kitchen produces around 600 meals a day for both the Infant and Junior School. The once separate dining halls have been turned into one bright, new hall with new tables and benches and noise reducing sound boards.

The school constantly promotes free school meal entitlement and strives to increase the general uptake of school dinners. Parents are invited to taster sessions, to join us in school for celebration roast dinners and termly family suppers. In March the school held an inaugural Lunchtime Companion Get Together focused around intergenerational eating together. Many children had the  opportunity to socialise and chat over lunchtime with older people. We hope to continue this partnership in the future when it is safe to do so.

The school Media Team filmed a Going for Gold video which gives a flavour of our healthy schools work and this can be viewed on our website at https://vimeo.com/416887794. We would like to thank our whole school community, especially pupils and parents, for supporting our Food for Life work.

In particular we would like to thank our retiring headteacher Mrs Hart, for her vision and unwavering commitment to the program over the past 8 years. The Gold Award is a fitting tribute to the huge impact Mrs Hart has had on our school and community.

Yours sincerely

Mr M Evans

Asst Headteacher