As there have been some queries out in the community around lunchtimes. I figured it might be time to take a bite out of it and bring some clarity to the table (puns intended!).
As you are well aware, the pandemic has brought with it some unique challenges to schools in regards to rules and regulations, particularly around eating. We have been INCREDIBLY lucky here at Discovery College since we have space to provide separate eating areas for all of our students. This has meant we were able to move back to full-day face to face learning ahead of many other schools and that we are still able to maintain full days.
There are two times during the day where food is consumed by primary students on-site – snack and lunch.
- Snack occurs in the morning, for Years 1-3 from 10.05 to 10.25am and for Years 4-6 from 10.30 to 10.55am.
- Lunch occurs for Years 1-3 from 12.30 to 12.50pm and for Years 4-6 from 1-1.20pm.
There is a 10-minute window between lunch times as we are required to allow the time for a full cleaning of the eating spaces as per EDB requirements.
Snack and lunch are simply labels we use to signify the time of day but what a child eats during any one of those sessions is completely at your discretion, with the only caveat being that snack should be something that can be eaten without utensils as this has been a continuous guideline throughout the pandemic for schools.
Many of the children, particularly our youngest learners, have never had lunch at school before. It is a new and exciting time and often their focus, initially, is more on what is going on around them instead of what’s inside their food boxes.
It doesn’t take long for them to realise that an eating time is a time to eat.
Additionally, having seen some of the food containers coming in, some of our students are coming with lunches bigger than mine. There is a natural fear that we as parents have when we send our children off someplace where we are not. We naturally want to ensure they are safe but we are also often afraid they are going to be hungry.
Here are some suggestions to help make sure your child’s tummy is full and that they are happy:
- Make sure they eat a well-balanced healthy breakfast.
- Make snacks substantial and healthy. Avoid sugary and salty snack food and look at sandwiches or food items high in protein.
- If you’ve stocked up their snack, lessen the amount of food at lunch.
- Build in an after-school snack.
- Remember – the year has just started. It’s a new routine and anything new takes longer than eight days to become habit.
- Finally, with consideration for the environment, try to avoid excessive packaging.
Our schedule and timetabling of snack and lunch enable us to maintain full days of school with regular learning provision for all students and I think that’s something we can all raise our glasses to.
Head of Primary