Whitecotes Academy, Chesterfield

15 May 2018

We caught up with Angela Dodsworth, School Business Manager at Whitecotes Academy in Chesterfield to find out how FareShare has helped their breakfast club provide a brainpower boost to their pupils every morning before school.

Why did you decide to set up a breakfast club in your school?

“We started the breakfast club back in 2007 as we believed it was of great importance to the children, giving them have a good start to the day and helping them concentrate in class. Since then it’s literally grown from strength to strength with around 45 pupils attending each morning out of a school of 200 pupils, so 22% of our pupils.”

“Our school is located in an area of high social deprivation in Chesterfield and our breakfast club is open and inclusive to all pupils, from those from difficult backgrounds to those with working parents working irregular shift patterns who can use it as a means of childcare.”

Angela Dodsworth, School Business Manager at Whitecotes Academy

 

Whitecotes Academy, Chesterfield, breakfast club

Do you see any long-term changes in the children through eating breakfast with you?

“The breakfast club has allowed us to target attendance levels. We have children whose attendance is poor and who are often late, so we use the breakfast club as the hook to get them in early, fed and ready to learn. Whilst the children are here it helps them to learn other important life skills as well, they all get stuck in making the breakfast together, buttering the toast and pouring their cereal.

“Having the breakfast club also means that if a child comes in just before 9 o’clock and is looking a bit peaky we can check if they’ve had breakfast, and if they haven’t, we can make sure they have something to eat.”

 

“The breakfast club has allowed us to target attendance levels. We have children whose attendance is poor and who are often late, so we use the breakfast club as the hook to get them in early, fed and ready to learn.”

Angela Dodsworth

Whitecotes Academy, Chesterfield, breakfast club

Why is access to a good breakfast every morning at the breakfast club important to the pupils in the run up to their SATs?

“Offering a good breakfast to pupils in the run up to exams enables them to learn better as they are more alert. For our year sixes during SATs week we are hosting a special breakfast club for them all together every morning using food from FareShare. It’s a time for them to relax amidst the pressure of exams, have a good start to the day and take their minds off things. It’s a real team effort and it’s lovely to see the impact we are having. We also have staff who are volunteering their time to give extra booster classes for the pupils to give them the best chance they deserve.”

“The impact the breakfast club has on the children is easy to see. With some families, the teachers can tell which days their children have been at the breakfast club and which days they have not, as they’ll be late for class or find it hard to concentrate. We know that for some children when they leave school this evening they won’t have a meal until they arrive back here for breakfast tomorrow morning.”

Angela Dodsworth

What difference does using food from FareShare make to your organisation?

“Without food from FareShare we would never be able to offer what we currently do for the children. We would most likely have to subsidise it from something else, such as the budget for school trips. Based on the numbers of children attending that we have now we could never do a weekly shop to buy in all the food in the volume we need.”

 

 


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