Newland St John’s CE Academy has been awarded the prestigious Food for Life Gold award for its healthy and climate-friendly food culture.

The Food for Life Gold award is the ultimate award that recognises schools, using practical learning experiences to reconnect young people to the food they eat, following the journey from field to plate.

Since joining Food for Life, Newland St John’s CE Academy has shown that it is possible to transform school food culture by serving healthy, climate-friendly school meals and integrating practical food education into the school curriculum.

Working with Hull Catering, the school has seen a rise in the school dinner take up to 90% of pupils eating school dinners, proving that good school food combined with food education is a good start to get children to eat more healthily.

“I think it’s amazing to be part of a school that has achieved the Food for Life Gold Award. I love the work we do planting on the allotment and learning cookery and our school meals are great!”

Joshua, aged 8

James Cashmore, Director of Food for Life says: "I'm delighted to announce that Newland St John’s CE Academy has achieved the Food for Life Gold award for creating a healthy, sustainable and enjoyable food culture within the school and its community to the benefit of everybody involved.

"The school shows what real 21st century education is all about, which is using real life experiences to teach the curriculum and providing the next generation with solutions to what threatens their future, namely climate change and the obesity crisis. By empowering the young people to make informed food choices and giving them the skills to grow and cook food for themselves and their families, Newland St John’s CE Academy leads the way for a more sustainable future."

Sarah Wilson, Headteacher of Newland St John’s CE Academy says, “We are immensely proud of this achievement, the culmination of years of hard work and commitment by our staff, children and families. Although the whole school is committed to Food for Life, two members of staff, Mrs Middleton and Mrs Jones have worked tirelessly to get us to this point.

At Newland St John’s, as well as having good food served daily at lunchtime, we have an allotment where children learn about where their food comes from and follow a systematic programme to learn cookery skills from Reception to Year 6. In this way we know that we are making a positive contribution to their life long health and well-being.”

Russ Headland, the school cook says, “Our priority is to encourage children to make healthy choices so that they have a nutritious and balanced meal. Getting the Food for Life Gold award reflects the commitment we all share to help children to be happy and healthy.”

Independent research, summarised in a new report ‘Good food for all’ reveals the success of five years of Food for Life. The evidence from three independent research studies focuses in particular on four main areas of impact: children’s health, tackling inequalities, improving education, and local enterprise and sustainability.