Document & Resources

Case Studies-Oldbury College of Sport

In the quest to achieve the National Healthy Schools Award the school has reformed its catering resulting in suggestion that pupil behaviour has improved.

January 2007

Action taken

Oldbury College of Sport has an upper and lower site where two schools have merged together. In 2005 the school’s catering went in house. The kitchens were re-branded and became the Oldbury Diner. For a case study on the lower site please click here.

In Oldbury College of Sports’ quest to achieve the National Healthy Schools Award, they had to address the issues that surrounded Food in Schools. This was done by working through the curriculum (Food Technology lessons, PSHCE lessons and PE lessons) where children were taught the benefits of healthy life styles and well balanced diets and we also worked very closely with the school kitchen.

In 2005 the school’s catering went in house. The kitchen was re-branded and became the Oldbury Diner, with new uniforms for staff, table cloths in the dining room, flowers on the tables, fresh drinking water easily available and displays of menus and healthy produce displayed in the canteen area. Local suppliers are now used and they deliver fresh food directly to the kitchen, including meat, fish and vegetables.

In order to ensure that the children are kept up to date with the changes due to the new school food standards the School Council have been involved in the consultative process and the Catering Manager, Mrs Blod Hinton not only attends these meetings but makes presentations to the children via school assemblies.

Blod says, “Due to our Sports College status, I work closely with the Sports College Director, Mrs Jan Howart, to promote healthy eating, We hold regular assemblies to advise and promote healthy options which are available from the Diner daily. We also hold taster sessions with the pupils and the staff to enable them to try out healthy foods that they would usually refuse because they were not familiar with them.”

What were the outcomes and benefits?

The benefits of the changes outlined above have been very encouraging. The Diner has been able to maintain the current uptake of school meals and there has recently been an increase in the number of children taking free school meals. There is also the suggestion that pupil behaviour has improved as a result of the Food in Schools policy.

The school has also surveyed the eating habits of the pupils and have found that the majority enjoy the food that is served in the canteen and the experience that is provided. They frequently offer the children the opportunity to sample ‘new’ foods before they are put on the menu and have found this to be a very good way of gauging pupil opinion of new foods.

The smart new uniforms and new look canteen have helped the kitchen staff feel a sense of pride in their work. Blod has also built up a very positive relationship with pupils and teaching staff through having a high profile in school assemblies and staff meetings.

Sustainability

This programme has been funded from the school budget which also includes the additional funds received from their specialist sports college status and the healthy lifestyles programme is obviously reflected within the original bid. The project is completely sustainable as the number of children and staff having a school lunch is very encouraging for a school of this size.

The Healthy Schools Award has been managed by the Director of Specialism, Mrs Jan Howarth who has worked very closely with Mrs Blod Hinton, Catering Manager who has had total autonomy over all decisions made within the canteen.

Learning Experience

As a result of achieving the National Healthy School standard the school feels they can offer the following advice:

  • Keep the food on the menu simple and provide food that children want, which means looking for new and innovative ways
  • Make the food appealing
  • Involve children in the decision making process
  • Use the School Council as a vehicle for passing information to all children
  • Promote the healthy eating / lifestyles message through assemblies and displays around the school
  • Ensure there is support from the Head Teacher and the Governing Body

You can view Blod in action as she features in our programme about the standards for school food aimed at cooks here.

There is also a case study on the Oldbury Lower Site here

Contact information

Mrs Jan Howarth
Director of Specialism
Email: jan.howarth@ocos.sandwell.sch.uk
Tel: 0121 544 7521

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