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School Meals and Cool Milk

Healthy Eating at Gravel Hill

We know that diet plays a crucial role in a child’s development and at Gravel Hill and we encourage healthy eating.

To help reach their potential children need a good balance of nutrients to grow healthy minds and bodies and a steady supply of energy to maintain concentration throughout the school day.
School Meals
Our catering provider is Independent Catering   www.independentcatering.co.uk/

A hot lunch is available to pupils each day at Gravel Hill supplied by Independent Catering.  This is FREE to all pupils from Reception to Year 6 for the academic year 2023 - 2024.

Meals are cooked on the premises using fresh, locally sourced, seasonal food. A copy of the menu is available from the school office or please find a link below to a copy of the current menu.

Please be aware that there may be occasions when the menu needs to be changed at the last minute, due to unforeseen circumstances such as deliveries of ingredients not arriving at the required time.

Menus February 2024 - March 2024

Universal Free School Meals are free for all children in Reception classes, Year 1 and Year 2, regardless of family income, under this Government scheme.

KS2 Free School Meals The Mayor has announced that from September 2023 all primary school children who attend state schools in London will receive free school meals for the full academic year. If your child is in Year 3, 4, 5 or 6 your child will receive free school meals automatically. 

All primary school children will not be charged for a school meal

Free school meals are available to families in receipt of certain benefits. The process of applying for free school meals is very simple. For more information please ask at the school office or telephone Bexley Council on 020 8303 7777. Alternatively you are able to apply online:

Free school meals form | London Borough of Bexley

If entitled, we strongly advise all parents to apply for Free School Meals, whichever year group your child is in, as this will attract additional funding (pupil premium funding) for the school, which is used to provide additional curricular and extra curricular learning opportunities.

Each year the Government allocates additional funding to schools so that free school meals can be provided for children who have been registered. This additional funding is also available to be spent on resources, intervention and staff. With this in mind, we would ask you to read the following information regarding eligibility for free school meals. 

Am I Entitled?
You can get free school meals for your child if you or your partner gets:
  • Universal Credit - if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit.

Allergies and Dietary Requirements

When your child starts at Gravel Hill, as part of our Admission process, we ask you to identify any medical needs, allergies, intolerances or dietary requirements (including religious observances) your child may have to ensure we provide the best care to all of our children. 

We are a 'Nut Free' school.  We do all we can to minimise the risk to children with allergies whilst appreciating that we cannot be completely confident that all food items brought in are nut free or that another child has not consumed nuts before coming into school.

Unfortunately our catering company is unable, at this time, to provide Halal meat.

School Meals
If your child is going to have school dinners: 
  • We suggest that you remain aware of the daily menu, emailed to yourselves weekly with the newsletter and available on our school website, and take responsibility for school dinners taken, reminding your child of any specific food items to be avoided.
  • For more serious allergies/intolerances, please contact Independent Caterers. A call or meeting will then be arranged between yourself and a representative, so that a suitable menu may be arranged.  

Class teachers are aware of their children's dietary requirements and ensure a lanyard is worn to signify a need to be aware throughout meal eating times.  In the kitchen there is a list, alongside a photo, of any children with allergies, intolerances or dietary requirements. 

Packed Lunches

We are a nut free school and, as a number of children at our school are allergic to different forms of nuts, we ask all parents to be vigilant in not providing their packed lunch children with, for example, peanut butter or Nutella chocolate spread.

Packed lunches should be healthy and balanced, sweets and chocolate bars are not allowed but small chocolate coated biscuits are okay as part of a balanced meal. To drink, water is encouraged and fizzy or high sugar content drinks are not allowed.  No glass containers in packed lunch boxes/bags please.

What do you put in a child's lunch box? 

According to NHS choices a balanced lunchbox should contain:

  • Starchy foods like bread, rice, potatoes or pasta.
  • Protein foods like meat, fish, eggs or beans.
  • A dairy item, like cheese or yogurt.
  • Vegetables or salad and a portion of fruit.

The NHS Eatwell Guide

Lunch Box Ideas:

nhs/change4life/recipes/healthier-lunchboxes 

bbcgoodfood/guide/school-packed-lunch-inspiration

sainsburys/recipes/8-lunchbox-ideas-for-kids-and-not-a-jam-sandwich-in-sight 

realfood.tesco.com/recipes/ kids-lunchbox-recipes

Cool Milk

Each pupil that registers with Cool Milk will receive a carton of semi-skimmed milk everyday, which is delivered fresh and chilled to the classroom. Their school milk will not only provide them with essential nutrients, but as it is rehydrating and energy boosting, it bridges the gap between breakfast and lunch to help children stay focused.  Find out the top ten reasons to drink school milk atwww.coolmilk.com/whyschoolmilk.. Milk is available at morning break time along with a portion of fruit.

Click on the logo below for more information regarding the Cool Milk Scheme and to register.

 How to register

For your child to receive their milk, you need to register via the Cool Milk website. If you have any problems with this please speak to the school office. For your child to receive milk you must register by 12pm on Tuesday and your child will start receiving milk from the following Monday.

My child is under five

  • Register your child on line prior to them starting school and they will receive milk when they start in Reception. 

  • Free milk will continue until the Friday before your child’s fifth birthday. You will receive a payment request three weeks before this time- if you wish your child to continue to receive school milk simply make a payment via the Cool Milk website. 

My child is five or older

  • Register online as soon as possible. Shortly after registering you will receive a payment request.

  • You can make a payment via the Cool Milk website.

  • Please pay by Tuesday 5pm for your child’s milk to start the following week.

If your child is eligible for Free School Meals, they will receive free milk automatically.  If you do not wish for your child to be registered please email the school office.

If you have any questions regarding school milk please visit www.coolmilk.com  or contact Cool Milk directly on 0844 854 2913.

For more information on how milk can benefit children visit www.coolmilk.com/why-milk-is-great.