Nutrition scheme bears fruit

7th May 2004 at 01:00
We wanted to encourage older children to continue to eat fruit, which is provided free at key stage 1 in our school as part of the Department of Health free fruit scheme.

We targeted this scheme at Years 3 and 4 - those who had most recently had free fruit and would probably be most receptive. For the first three weeks fruit was provided free, funded by a grant from Slough's healthy school's co-ordinator.

At the same time a letter was sent to parents saying that the school would provide fruit to children at a cost of 60p a week. We emphasised that this would support children's learning as healthy food improves concentration.

We buy the fruit from the supplier who provides free fruit at key stage 1 and get a seasonal variety. The scheme has now been running for a term with between 50 and 70 per cent of children buying every week.

Occasionally, teachers become aware that some children are missing out and will let them have a spare piece of fruit, though this requires sensitivity as we are an urban school with 32 per cent of children taking free school meals.

We will now begin to extend the scheme upwards through the school.

Jane Hassan

Teacher, Montem Primary School, Slough, Berkshire

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