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Lunch and break time


Children may have a cooked meal or packed lunch. Birch Hill Primary School runs its own catering and we normally offer five choices for lunch every day. From Autumn term 2020, our menu is reduced to accommodate meals being served in classrooms. Our school lunches are freshly prepared and very popular. Meals are free for children in Year R, 1 and 2 and those eligible for free school meals, otherwise they cost £2.30 per day. Meals must be ordered at home the day before and paid for online. The parent guide giving instructions on how to book meals is attached below. 

Our lunch booking system is here

Every day there is a choice of two main meals, one of which is vegetarian. We offer a choice of grab bag every day  which contains a filled roll, vegetables and a piece of fruit, yoghurt or freshly made cake/dessert

 The menus are on a three-week rota. Our latest menu is attached below. 

If your child has an allergy or food intolerance and wishes to have school meals, you must complete a form to provide more information so that we can provide an agreed menu for your child. These are available from the office.

Packed lunches should be healthy. Chocolate, sweets and nuts are not allowed in school. Lunches should be brought in a container which is stored in class areas (or outside the school hall) until children are called for lunch. Please only include water.  We encourage you to vary your child's  eating pattern during the week and you may change between packed lunches and school dinners. 

If you are receiving income support, income based job seeker's allowance or child tax credit, your family qualifies for assistance with school meals. The Local Authority deal with these applications. Application forms are available online via the Bracknell Forest website (here) or by phoning 01344 354023.

Breaktime Snack

Children may bring in a snack of fresh fruit or raw vegetables to eat during morning break. In order to continue to support healthy eating, no other form of snack will be allowed. 

Infant children are able to eat theirs seated in the amphitheatre in the lower playground, Junior children can sit under the pergola in the main playground. Bins are provided and all litter must be placed in them.

Online Payment

School meals must be paid for online. For more information click here.

Parents are asked to keep their child's account in credit. If you account goes into debt, you will receive texts and emails. If your account goes more than £11.50 into debt, you/your child will be unable to order and we will phone you to remind you to pay or to ask you to bring in a packed lunch. This is disruptive and unsettling for your child so please ensure your account is in credit.

Entitlement to Free School Meals

If you are receiving one of the the benefits listed below, your child will be entitled to Free School Meals:

  • Income support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part V1 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you're not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Universal Credit

If you are entitled to Working Tax Credit during the four week period immediately after your employment stops, or after you start to work less than 16 hours per week, your child would also be eligible for free school meals for this four week period only.

This information is accurate at the time of printing but it is subject to Government policy so may change in the future.

Click here to apply for Free School Meals. 

What about children who are in Reception or KS1?

From September 2014 the government introduced Universal infant free school meals. This means that parents with children in key stage one, that is reception, year 1 and year 2 in a state funded school will be eligible to claim a free school meal for their child. There are no eligibility criteria, every key stage one child will be entitled.

However, if your child is in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 and you are in receipt of one of the benefits listed above, it is vital that you register for free school meals. This will ensure that the school gets the funding to support your child, through the Pupil Premium (Pupil Premium Page). It will also save you having to register for free school meals when your child moves into Key Stage 2 (Year 3). Children eligible for Pupil Premium can have milk paid for by school.

School Milk

Free milk is provided for children Under 5. We use the Coolmilk scheme. Nursery children will be registered for milk by school. We ask Reception parents who would like milk for their child to register and this will be provided free until their child is 5. When children are 5, parentcan opt to pay for milk. More information about the scheme and a registration form can be found here