Education at St Aidan's extends to informing young people about the long-term health benefits of a healthy lifestyle and a nutritious diet.
Our catering team is passionate about the food they serve and strongly believe that healthy eating is linked to success in the learning and development of our pupils.
In providing a school lunch service in-house every day, we promote healthy choices, offer good value for money and provide a first class service to pupils and staff. Ingredients are sourced from local suppliers. The academy is fully compliant with school foods standards, we can cater for special dietary requirements if informed in advance and allergen information is available if required.
Our catering service is led by catering manager Alexis Wilson, who is supported by a team of 4 catering assistants.
All pupils remain on the academy site at lunchtime. We operate a two-sitting family dining lunch break, from 12.25pm –1.05pm. Yr7 and Yr8 pupils eat with their form tutor in the first sitting with Yr9, Yr10 and Yr11 pupils eating with their form tutor in the second sitting.
We are extremely proud of our unique family dining experience. We are the only secondary school in the North East to offer family dining.
Family dining involves pupils sitting formally with their tutor and tutor group at lunchtime. Pupils are responsible for serving their peers on a rota system and given topics to discuss during the dining experience. We are proud to say that the majority of our pupils choose the healthy meal provided by the Academy. A small number of pupils opt to bring a packed lunch, still sitting with their tutor group to enable them to enjoy the family dining experience.
Our research shows that pupils are more likely to eat a healthy meal at school if they are sitting at a table. Our family dining experience promotes and embeds vital social and life skills and is a time to sit and eat with peers, providing time away from the pressures of the classroom. The experience also offers pupils time to build a relationship with their tutor.
We operate a cashless catering system – ParentPay – which means pupils do not need to bring money into school to pay for their lunch. Every pupil registers their fingerprint onto the system when they join the academy and then simply scan their finger when they come to 'pay' for their lunch or breaktime snacks.
Each pupils account can be topped by using the ParentPay website by debit or credit card. Alternatively, there are ‘cash loader’ machines, located by Pupil Reception and upstairs in the main atrium, where pupils can top up their accounts with cash. All methods add instant credit to an account.