At St. Stephen’s, we take the health and well-being of our children very seriously. We are proud to have achieved our Silver Award for South Gloucestershire’s Health in Schools Program and currently working towards our Gold award. Furthermore, we are pleased to say we are also working towards our Bronze award with Food for Life.
Our Food Council page will keep you up to date with what’s happening in 2020 but here’s what has happened so far.
Health in Schools Gold Award
In April 2020, we were excited to announce that we achieved our Gold Award from South Gloucestershire's Health in Schools Programme (HiSP). So far, only a handful of schools have been awarded this new award and we were pleased to be counted as one of them.
To achieve our Gold Award, we had to demonstrate:
- A commitment to establishing approaches to developing positive mental health and emotional well-being in a range of different ways.
- How healthier outcomes achieved in our Silver Award (January 2017) have been sustained over a period of time (and new outcomes have been achieved as well).
- A commitment to the importance of pupil participation and pupil-led health and well-being interventions which inspired others to take action and lead change.
This award has inspired us to continue to grow and develop as a healthy school. Please continue to visit to find out what we are planning next.
Health in Schools
Pupils’ responses to the local health and well-being online pupil survey (2017) across South Gloucestershire provide us with a focus to improve health and well-being outcomes for our children. In particular:
18% of secondary aged pupils report never or rarely eating unhealthy snacks, and 38% are drinking fizzy drinks at least once a day. However, 87% report drinking still or tap water at least once a day.
most pupils’ physical activity each week does not meet the recommended six hours, with 68% (all ages) taking part in at least four hours plus of physical activity each week. Girls report taking part in less physical activity than boys
25% of primary pupils and 20% of secondary and year 12 pupils are so often worried about something they cannot sleep at night and girls are more ‘stressed’ than boys (30% compared to 13%)
Some of the things we have done to address these concerns include:
Introduced a whole-school food policy which states that water is the only drink to be consumed throughout the day. Diluted squash is permitted with lunch however we have since introduced water flavoured with natural fruit - provided at lunchtimes.
Brought in a brand-new morning activity - ‘Wake and Shake’. Children and staff met every day on the playground to take part in lively and energetic dance routines. Children’s responses were collected after one year and reported physical activity had increased significantly.
Introduced daily mindfulness and breathing sessions alongside other Mental Health activities for Mental Health weeks.
Food for Life
So far, we have shown commitment to improving our school food culture by:
Developing a whole-school food policy (with the help of students and parents/governors).
Surveying children and parents about school-cooked meals.
Inviting parents/carers into school to sample school-cooked meals.
Inviting families in for regular ‘themed’ dinners such as Mother’s Day roast dinners, Father’s Day fish and chips and Come Dine with Me meals.
At St. Stephen's, we have a team who are dedicated to healthy living and who believe that a balanced, nutritious diet is one way to be healthy! The Food Council are made up of children, teaching staff and TAs, governors, the school's leadership team and Aspens which is the company that provide our school-cooked meals. We believe that healthy eating is a 'whole-school approach' so we like to hear your views and get everyone involved!
Thank you to everyone who has attended food-tasting evenings and completed online surveys. Please get in touch with Mrs. Chapman if you have any ideas or further suggestions about nutrition at our school.
Christmas pudding tasting
During the first week of December, Pupil Voice were invited to taste Christmas pudding options with Ms Wilson. After they sampled each dessert, they voted for which one they thought was the best. Two will be chosen for all of us to enjoy during our annual Christmas lunch!
Following the success of our food-tasting for parents and carers, we decided to put on a similar event for the children. The children who did attend the first meeting were surprised by how much they enjoyed the chickpea curry, so we included that in the menu. We also included a cheese, leek and potato bake and a Quorn sausage sub (yes, it was vegetarian!). The feedback was fantastic. We hope to see more children choosing school-cooked meals now that they know how nutritious they are (not to mention yummy!)
We have now introduced flavoured water in the dining hall! Your responses to the electronic survey told us that many of you prefer flavoured water instead of plain! What do you think? Let us know if you prefer it and any other flavours you might like us to introduce.
Can the SNAC team grow carrots inside in time for Christmas dinner?!
Year 6 cooking: Trench cake
Year 6 have loved learning about foods eaten during WW1. The trench cake was a huge hit!
2017 - 2018
We've noticed that many of our parents and carers did not know what our school-cooked meals were like - so we invited them in to try! Our lovely kitchen staff cooked some food from the menu and invited us to try. The chickpea curry and beetroot brownie were a huge success. The teachers were chuffed with the leftovers too!
Healthy lunch challenge!
Term 6 saw the launch of our 'Healthy Sandwich' and 'Healthy Lunchbox' challenges. The SNAC team made their favourite sandwiches - which all included healthy ingredients like salad vegetables (for fibre and vitamins) and meat (protein to help our bodies grow and repair).
Mr. Walters then talked to use about making our own sandwiches at home and ways to make them healthy whilst still being healthy!
10 housepoints will be awarded in every Celebration assembly for the healthiest lunch overall and the healthiest sandwich.