Warwickshire school gets cooking on Countryfile

Pupils from Rugby and their Educaterers school catering staff got the opportunity to showcase their school and cooking skills to TV presenting star Tom Heap in December ~ and the feature will be broadcast on BBC Countryfile in the next couple of weeks.

Film crews from the popular BBC programme, along with regular presenter Tom, visited Brownsover Community School to film a feature on the school’s ‘farm-to-fork’ philosophy to school dinners and food education, which has resulted in the school and their Educaterers catering team achieving a Gold ‘Food for Life’ Award from the Soil Association.

Pupils and staff were keen to show Tom how their forward-looking food culture has had a positive impact on the school, its curriculum and their local community.

He was invited to help prepare and serve the school dinners with Educaterers staff, meet the pupils, and chat to teaching and catering staff about how Brownsover Community School goes the extra mile to promote healthy food as part of its whole school ethos.

Schools that achieve the Gold ‘Food for Life’ Award need to demonstrate to the Soil Association that they include parents and community groups in cooking and growing activities, are involved in the life of a local farm, and grow organic food for the school.

To hold the award, school pupils should choose to eat a school meal as the norm, and their school caterers must serve food that is healthy, ethical and made largely from local ingredients, with a minimum of 15% organic ingredients and 5% free range.

Midlands-based school caterers, Educaterers, who provide school meals at Brownsover Community School, only use ingredients from trusted suppliers who can demonstrate that they put sustainability, animal welfare and ethical trading at the heart of what they do, so they can then make fresh, nutritious and high-quality food for schools.

Terry Tredget, Director of Educaterers, said:

“Our wonderful catering team at Brownsover Community School have worked really closely with the school to achieve the Gold ‘Food for Life’ Award, as the Soil Association rightly have very high standards and expectations.

“We were delighted that Tom Heap and the BBC Countryfile crew were able to come to the school to see what we do. It was an amazing experience for our staff to be able to cook alongside Tom on camera and show just how much thought and effort goes into sourcing our ingredients and preparing our school meals, from farm to fork.”

All pork on Educaterers’ school menus is Farm Assured and RSPCA Freedom Foods Accredited, and all chicken is British Red Tractor Farm Assured. Every egg that Educaterers use is free range and comes from a local farm.

Their menus are free from endangered fish and Educaterers focus on using seasonal fruit and vegetables throughout the year. Bread is freshly baked on site every day.

Brownsover Community School Headteacher, Elisa Basnett, said:

“At Brownsover, we pride ourselves in developing the whole child, and the key skills addressed throughout our Food For Life program ensure that healthy eating and lifestyles are actively promoted and supported for all children.

“The children really enjoyed the filming experience! They take great pride in sharing our achievements with visitors and especially enjoy cooking with their friends and parents.”

The feature for the Countryfile programme, which covers rural, agricultural and environmental issues in the UK, will air on BBC One in the next couple of weeks.

Educaterers provide over 120,000 school meals every week to over 200 schools across Warwickshire, Birmingham and Oxfordshire. For more information on Educaterers, visit www.educaterers.co.uk

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