Live and Learn Better event

We hosted our `Live and Learn Better’ event at Cadoxton Primary School in late March 2023. |the event brought together 2 school clusters – Willows High and the Pencoedtre Learning Cluster in the Central Vale , to look at the whole school approach to food , with a view to identifying opportunities to coproduce new and innovative actions. The data around free school meals and deprivation identified these two clusters under the Amplifying Prevention workstream.

12 schools attended the event, 2 secondaries and 10 primaries . In the morning, staff from the Senior Leadership Teams in each of the schools, participated in a workshop facilitated by Sally Evans from Perform and Grow, whilst the pupils collaborated on a cooking project to produce two healthy menu options as well as discussing what good, healthy food meant to them.

The main aims of the event were to:

  • Develop a shared understanding of the impact of food on physical and mental health and the capacity for learning
  • Celebrate and share good practice
  • Begin to create our dream for the future and how a whole school approach to food might look and feel
  • Identify the resources available to us to support this work

Senior Leaders learnt about the impact of good nutrition on the brain, developing an understanding of how what we eat impacts on our behaviour and wellbeing . There was a great deal of discussion following this on what is already in place on our schools but acknowledging that there are so many more opportunities to work with pupils, staff, parents and the wider school community , to deliver healthy eating messages and interventions. In sharing current practice , we collectively worked on future opportunities to improve the food offer , how to engage with parents in a meaningful and appropriate way to increase their understanding and skills.

Castell Howell delivered an interactive cooking session with the pupils and we all shared a fantastic healthy lunch, prepared by Felix, the chef at Cadoxton Primary. Following lunch, we brought staff and pupils together to talk about what our next steps are, and immediate actions include:

  • Create a variety of healthy snacks
  • Deliver after school sessions for families
  • Have more variety of healthy foods and snacks on offer at lunchtime
  • Work and engage with parents and work with them to learn more about their needs
  • Look at food from different cultures

Going forward, we will be working collaboratively with each of the schools in the clusters and will bring everyone back together at a future date to celebrate progress and share successes.