The issue of a reduced lunch break time slot and the desire to keep older students on site led a Warwickshire secondary school to re-assess both its catering and dining needs with the resulting new facilities from PKL bringing even more space and revenue benefits than the school had first thought.
Stratford upon Avon School, an 11-18 year old co-educational school for more than 1,400 students including a 6th form needed to extend its facilities when it moved from a double lunch hour to a single one. More than 800 students take school lunches on a daily basis and the existing dining hall and kitchen simply would not have been able to cope with the volume of lunches required for service in 45 mins.
In addition the school had made the decision to no longer allow its Year 11 students off-site at lunch time. These factors left the School Catering Manager Mr Brooke and Marketing and Development Manager Sally Sealy, who went on to project manage the new build, with a dilemma of where to put everyone.
“Stratford upon Avon School has its own excellent catering team and we pride ourselves on providing quality meals and snacks, freshly made on the premises using locally sourced ingredients where ever possible, at breakfast, break time, lunch and after school, we also have a thriving business hiring out school facilities to local community groups. So we simply just didn’t have enough space!” Sally explains.
The solution was a PKL Food Cube Diner, a modular stand-alone, fully operational kitchen with integrated dining aream designed to exactly meet the school’s requirements. The Food Cube Diner has enabled Stratford upon Avon School to extend its catering operation and also to offer a “Year 11 diner” – a contemporary coffee shop style space central to the whole concept.
“We wanted to give Year 11 pupils a degree of freedom while also ensuring they stayed on site. The diner concept is attractive to young people as they see this kind of environment as ‘adult space’ and it acts as a great stepping stone to the independence that 6th form brings”, Sally explains.
The internal space at the diner is exclusively for Year 11 students and operates a break and lunch service. The outside hatch is for all year groups, opening at break and lunch, allowing students access to quality food on the go so they can attend clubs and sporting activities more easily in the shorter lunch period.
The new facility is one of the few areas in the school which can accommodate a whole year group too – up to 250 students seated or 155 at tables – so it is ideal as an exam hall, which happens throughout exam time with food served from the hatch, and for whole year talks and presentations. In the school holidays the space is also available for hire.
“We worked closely with PKL to find a bespoke solution for our needs and they guided the school through all the various stages, from planning permission through to landscaping.
“The benefits that having a Cube on site have been even more than we thought at the outset too”, Sally explains. “Our Year 11 students have their own area which they think is fantastic plus we have been able to expand our food offering and ease pressure on our main dining hall provision in one solution. Teaching staff are happy too as we are able to host events such as a series of career talks for Year 11 students on the second day of the Cube being operational!”
Food Cube with attached dining area
New dining and seating area for sixth form