Pupils at St Paul’s Community Primary School and Nursery will be keeping their eyes on the sky this summer because a brand new kitchen will be delivered by crane.
The Spalding school is getting a pre-built “kitchen pod”, which means pupils can enjoy hot meals cooked on site for the first time in years after St Paul’s was awarded around a £190,000 slice of Government cash given to Lincolnshire.
We want the kitchen to be an integral part of what we do in terms of encouraging the children to eat more healthily.School business manager Nicky Effield
The school has around 208 pupils – with another 52 in the nursery – and currently the youngsters have to order their meal choice a fortnight in advance as the food is prepared at Spalding High School and shipped across town in “hot boxes”.
From September St Paul’s pupils will be able to order from the menu choice on the day, whether it’s something piping hot or a leafy choice from the fresh salad bar.
School business manager Nicky Effield said: “We are very happy about it.”
Mrs Effield said St Paul’s, in common with many schools, had its kitchen taken out some years ago and has been using external suppliers ever since for its hot midday meals.
“I have been here for nine years and the school didn’t have a kitchen when I came,” she said.
St Paul’s has held consultation evenings with parents to get their views on what they would like to see from the in-house service – and pupils have given their opinions on a range of food options, themed days centred on particular cuisines, such as Italian, and healthy eating menus.
Mrs Effield said: “The children quite liked the option of roast dinners and also the salads – and they quite liked the opportunity of doing themed days.
“We want the kitchen to be an integral part of what we do in terms of encouraging the children to eat more healthily.”
The school is seeking planning consent from South Holland District Council for the kitchen pod to be sited at its Queens Road base.
The steel fabricated pod will be built off site by PKL Group Ltd and delivered to a spot west of the main building.
“They literally crane the pod into position,” said Mrs Effield. “They make it sound incredibly easy.”
The school is now in the process of recruiting a kitchen supervisor and catering assistant – it already has supervisory assistants who oversee mealtimes in the hall.
The new kitchen will include a hot production line with an integrated extraction canopy and areas for preparation, refrigeration and dishwashing.
St Paul’s Community Primary School opened in 1955 and celebrates its 60th anniversary this year.
If planning consent is given, it’s likely the kitchen pod will arrive at the school in June or July so it’s ready for use at the start of the autumn term.
• St Paul’s is having a new kitchen as a result of increased demand for meals through the launch of UIFSM (Universal Infant Free School Meals).
It is proposed that the kitchen pod will be coloured Goosewing Grey and Wedgwood Blue – like the Wedgwood pottery ware – so it complements the existing buildings.
A design statement submitted to the council says: “The proposed construction has been designed to have minimum impact on the surrounding area.
“The building has a flat roof design to reduce the visual impact, and the external colours are modern which complement the current red brick facing buildings.
“This ensures the school will maintain its overall contemporary building style.”