Food at Abbeyfields

At Abbeyfields we recognise that we share the responsibility with parents and the wider community to educate pupils in all aspects of food and nutrition so enabling them to make healthy informed choices as they move through life. We pride ourselves on serving tasty, healthy meals every day for all of our children. Our catering team works very hard to give the children what they like whilst adhering to current food standards for schools which ensure meals are nutritious and well balanced. We’re constantly on the lookout for new, exciting recipes to entice the children and work closely with the Children’s Food Trust to make healthy food a priority throughout school. All children in reception, year 1 and year 2 are eligible for a free school dinner each day and so will benefit from a well-balanced meal in the middle of the day while their parents save over £350 a year! We source food locally whenever possible and buy our meat from local butchers, Manners of Ponteland who can trace the origin of all of their meat. We even serve food grown by the children on our allotment whenever possible! As well as making lunch every day our team somehow find time to put on Family Breakfasts, serve refreshments for events within school and create fabulous themed menus to complement what the children are doing in class such as International Week, American Independence Day and Halloween.

What’s on the menu?

The menu for the coming week will always be published in our weekly newsletter which comes out on a Thursday. As we’d love all of our new starters to enjoy our dinners we’d really appreciate any suggestions you have for healthy alternatives that your child would like to see on the menu.

For the current menu please see last week's newsletter.

How do we order a dinner?

We are happy for the children to choose each day whether they would like a school dinner or not; the teacher takes a dinner register each morning.

What about payment?

The government initiative Universal Free School Meals (UFSM) has been introduced to all schools in England. This scheme enables all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 to receive a free lunch every day. Children in Nursery, Year 3 and Year 4 still need to pay; school dinners are currently £2.10 each. They are really easy to pay for; no cash or cheques are needed as it's all done on-line at www.schoolcomms.com using a debit or credit card. Once you have returned your data collection sheet your child will be set up with a Parentpay account and we will issue you with an activation letter with your username, temporary password and full instructions. Don't worry if you don't have access to the internet or a debit or credit card we can issue a Paypoint card which can be used to pay for dinners with cash at any store displaying the Paypoint logo; the closest to school is Simply Food and Drink at Abbey Meadows. We do however ask that all meals are paid for in advance as the money for dinners comes directly from the school budget; any arrears mean less money for resources for our children. You may be eligible for 'traditional' Free School Meals (FSM) - please see the information below.

FREE SCHOOL MEALS AND SCHOOL FUNDING

Did you know that just by registering your child for free school meals Abbeyfields will get extra money?

Pupil premium is money that is given to schools to help close the attainment gap between different groups of pupils. The vast majority of pupil premium funding is allocated to schools for each student who is registered for free school meals. Since April 2012 this has included any child who has been registered for FSM at any time in the last 6 years. From next month the amount we will receive for each child is £1,300. An additional sum of money is also paid for any pupils who are 'looked after' or whose parents are in the armed forces. Not surprisingly, at a time when budgets are dwindling and it is getting harder and harder for us to resource school, we are keen for everyone who is eligible to register for free school meals to do so. If you are registered you may also get help with the cost of other activities such as music tuition or educational visits as well as saving over £350 a year on dinners. Even if you don't want your child to have a free meal as long as you qualify and are registered we still get the funding for school.

Would I qualify?

You are likely to be eligible if you are in receipt of one of the following benefits:

  • Child Tax Credit (Families receiving Working Tax Credit are not eligible)
  • Income Support
  • Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Guaranteed Element of State Pension Credit
  • Support under part VI of The Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Working Tax Credit 'run-on' - the payment made for a further 4 weeks after someone stops qualifying for Working Tax Credit

How do I apply?

To apply simply complete the on-line form at http://www.northumberland.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=1098 or call Free School Meals at County Hall on 0845 600 6400. For more information speak to Mrs Mungall or Mrs Gibson in the school office; your enquiry will be dealt with in confidence.

Any questions?

Mrs Mungall or Mrs Gibson in the school office will be happy to answer any questions you have. You can either pop in to see us, call on 01670 513582 or email admin@abbeyfields.northumberland.sch.uk.