Coningsby St Michael’s Primary School had spent years using a transported meals service but was seeing the take up of school dinners dropping.
Head teacher Kate Hodson was looking for a solution that allowed the school to produce high quality, fresh, healthy food on site that would encourage pupils to try new dishes, while also providing the flexibility to change the menu as and when they needed.
“Our food was delivered around 10:30 in the morning, but often wasn’t served until two hours later,” she said. “The children didn’t enjoy it.”
Coningsby is the eighth school to receive a KitchenPod installation under a scheme by Lincolnshire County Council to boost the food provision in its schools, which meant that Kate could visit another KitchenPod in action before making her decision. “After seeing it working so well somewhere else, it was a definite ‘yes’ from me,” she said.
Kate was pleased to be involved in the design process for the new KitchenPod.
“PKL were brilliant at involving us at every stage, giving us input into the design, which meant we had confidence our finished kitchen was going to be perfect for our needs,” she said.
The school hired a new catering team who brought both expertise and enthusiasm. Their ideas and skill have driven the early success of the aptly-named ‘Big Red Kitchen’. The building’s colour scheme matched the school colours, to the delight of children and staff.
The school now serves lunches ‘family’ style, with platters full of food for the children to serve themselves. This encourages independence, cooperation and reduces food waste. The meals always include a lovingly prepared fruit platter and are always in line with the school’s healthy eating policies.
Coningsby saw take up of school dinners double in the Big Red Kitchen’s first three weeks in operation. The staff also helped to facilitate ‘healthy food week’. They gave talks in school, cooked special meals and used ingredients the children had grown themselves in the school’s vegetable garden.
“The Big Red Kitchen has made a massive difference to our provision of high quality food for the children of Coningsby,” said Kate. “It’s brilliant to see our children trying new foods, simply because they are prepared on site so lovingly from fresh ingredients and presented beautifully by our dedicated and talented staff.”
Coningsby St Michael Primary School, Lincolnshire County Council
Feed 330 pupils and 20 staff on site to replace school meals delivery service
Two bay KitchenPod