At Bedlinog Community Primary School, we believe that lunchtime in school is both a time to develop pupils social skills, whilst also providing pupils with nutritional, healthy meals in a caring environment. From Nursery to Year 6, all of our pupils enjoy being able to socialise with each other whilst enjoying their lunch.
Please find below some useful FAQs regarding Eating and lunchtime at Bedlinog Community Primary School.
Will my child be provided with a dinner at school?
At School, we are able to provide all pupils with healthy, nutritious meals prepared freshly each day on site, should they require one. All of our school meals meet the Welsh Healthy Food in Schools regulation. Our school dinners provide pupils with a range of choices and options of what meals they would like to eat. A full menu is available following the links at the bottom of the page.
How do I inform the school that my child requires a school meal?
Parents/Carers are required to make their choices for school meals using their online ParentPay account. Selections must be made by 8:00am. School dinners are charged on a daily basis and payment for meals are made using our online payment system. Your account must be in credit to make a selection for a school meal.
(Please note: If you have not made a selection online for your child to have a school meal, and have not provided a packed lunch either, then your child will be provided with a school meal and you will be charged accordingly.)
Does my child have to have a dinner every day, or can I choose different days?
We understand that there may be certain meals on our menu that your child will enjoy, and others which they may not like. Using their online account, Parents/Carers are able to choose which days their child requires meals on. As a Parent/Carer you can either do this on a daily basis, or you can make your choices weekly in advance. The closing time for selecting your child's meal option is 8:00am each school morning. Please ensure that, if your child is having a school meal, you have selected this in time.
Likewise, if you have booked a meal for your child and need to change your option for a packed lunch instead, then please log in to your online account and de-select the days you no longer require the meals on. Please note that changes to your account must be made before 8:00am or you may still be charged for a meal.
(Please note: If a padlock symbol appears in your account, this means the system is now closed and no further changes can be made.)
Will my child receive a meal if I forget to select one?
Whilst we encourage all Parents/Carers to ensure their account is in credit and the required selections made, we understand that there may be times where you forget to make your selections. Should you forget to make a selection, and your child does not have a packed lunch with them, then the school will provide your child with a meal and charge it to your account. We will never let a child go without food at lunchtime.
How does my child choose their meal option?
You will be aware that, from looking at the School menu, there are different hot and cold options each day for dinner. If you have selected a school meal for your child, your child will be asked for their choice at the start of the School day, during registration, and the chosen meal will be prepared for them. Please note that our cold meals are made-to-order, therefore it is not possible for Pupils to change their choices at lunchtime.
Do I have to pay for my child's meal?
Free school meals are not an entitlement to all Parents/Carers. For the majority of Parents/Carers there will be a cost for school dinners. The cost of dinners can be found on the Merthyr Tydfil Catering website, a link to which is located at the bottom of the page. The school only accepts online payments. Cash and cheques are not accepted for school meals.
If you are in receipt of Universal credit, your child may be eligible for Free School Meals. Please contact the School office to find out more information about Free School Meals, and request an application form. If your child is eligible for Free School Meals you will still be required to select your options using your online account, however as the system has a record of all children eligible for free school meals, you will not be required to make any payment.
How do I access my online account?
Details for your child's account can be provided to you via our School office. Please contact the school office if you are having any issues regarding access to your child's account.
Can my child bring a packed lunch?
Of course! We understand that for many different reasons, you may decide that your child requires a packed lunch instead of a cooked school meal. If a child is not having a cooked meal, your child is welcome to bring along a packed lunch. We do ask that packed lunches are healthy and nutritional, and that the amount and type of food that is included in your child's packed lunch is suitable for their age. A guide to healthy packed lunches can be found at the bottom of this page.
If your child is bringing a packed lunch, simply leave the dinner option blank in your online account. If a selection for a school meal has not been made online it will be presumed that your child is having packed lunch and a dinner will not be provided.
Is the school responsible for catering and organisation of menus?
No. All our catering is carried out by the Merthyr Tydfil Catering department. All enquiries about ingredients, menus and allergies can be accessed via the Merthyr Tydfil catering website. There is a link at the bottom of the page to their website.
Where will my child have lunch?
All school meals are served in our school hall where Pupils are provided with access to our Kitchen, as well as tables and chairs to sit and enjoy their meals. Pupils are provided with supervision from our DRAs (all DBS checked) and Support staff, and have plenty of time to enjoy their lunch, as well as having time to enjoy play with their friends.
Dining Room Assistants (DRAs) are available to assist and support pupils during lunchtime, and encourage them to eat their meals. No child will ever be forced to eat something they do not like on their plate, and for pupils bringing in packed lunches, we will send home any unfinished food so that you are aware of what they are eating (or not eating) so that you can adjust their packed lunch accordingly.
If any concerns arise around your child's eating habits we will be in touch with you to ensure arrangements are put in place to get your child eating during lunchtime.
How long does my child have for lunch?
As you can appreciate, feeding 90+ pupils can be a challenge, however our aim as a school is to ensure that all pupils get a fair and appropriate amount of time to enjoy their lunch. Depending on the age of your child, the length of lunch times will differ, however Children will always be provided with ample time to enjoy their lunch so that they don't have to rush.
Our times for Lunch are:
Will my child be supervised at lunchtime?
As you can appreciate, lunchtime is a busy time at school as not only do our Pupils require lunch, but so too do our Staff. In line with our Safeguarding procedures, we ensure that all Pupils are supervised at all times throughout the School day, including at lunchtime (though this is not carried out by Class Teachers at lunchtime).
We deploy our staff to supervise our Pupils during lunchtime, allowing class teachers and staff to have their lunch. Staff and DRAs (Dining Room Assistants) are available to support at lunchtime and, although not able to sit with individual Pupils during lunchtime, all DRAs will rotate around the hall to ensure that all Pupils are supervised and given encouragement to eat their food.
We have good communication with our lunchtime staff and any incidents or information arising from lunch break is passed on to Class teachers, before the afternoon lessons begin. These can then be dealt with appropriately. You can be reassured that your child will be always be safe and appropriately supervised whilst at school.
Does my child have to stay at school for lunch?
As a school, we have a statutory duty to provide statutory aged pupils with a school meal. However, there may be instances where you would like to collect your child for lunch.
Should you wish to provide a meal for your child at home you are welcome to do so. We ask that if you are collecting your child for them to have lunch at home, they are collected at 12:00pm and returned in plenty of time to start afternoon lessons at 13:00pm.
What other opportunities for eating drinking will my child have?
Throughout the day, all Pupils will have constant access to fresh water, provided through out School water fountains. We ask for children to have wide-necked water bottles to prevent cross-contamination. School water bottles can be purchased form the School office for £2.00.
Children in Foundation Phase (Nursery - Year 2) will be provided with milk during morning break time. We also encourage pupils to bring along a healthy fruit snack to enjoy with their milk (please note cherries and grapes present a chocking hazard and are not permitted. Nuts are also not allowed).
In Key Stage 2, our Pupils run a fruit tuck shop to purchase fruit at break time. Likewise, Pupils are also able to bring along their own fruit to school with them.
For more information about school meals, including packed lunches and healthy eating regulations please use the links below. Likewise, should you have any further questions or queries, please feel free to contact the school office.