Food is a very important part of life at Bute House. We outsourced our Catering Department in October 2016 to Chartwells Independent, following a rigorous selection process.
The Chartwells team is led by our Catering Manager, Mr Freddy Rebello, and includes a number of staff who have worked in the Bute House kitchen over many years.
Chartwells bring expertise in cooking fresh, seasonal ingredients each day on-site to provide healthy, nutritious and tasty home-cooked food for the girls. In addition, Chartwells has the capacity across its organization to provide education around healthy eating, and to create menus which link with both curricular, and festive or religious days.
We have three lunch sittings every day:
- 12.00pm Lower School Lunch is family service, where girls sit at tables of ten and are served by a Lunchtime Supervisor or a member of staff
- 12.30pm Middle School Lunch is family service; girls sit at tables of ten and are served by a member of staff or an older girl.
- 1.00pm Upper School lunch is counter service where the girls queue up for their hot food and can select salad from their own salad table, before taking a seat at one of the tables already set with cutlery etc.
- The girls help to clear and wipe the tables and, in the case of those going to Lower and Middle School lunch, help lay the tables for the next sitting.
All staff at Bute House enjoy a school lunch every day and sit in the Hall at a staff table to eat their lunch. The members of staff are excellent role models for the girls, eating their lunch and enjoying conversations with other staff thus reinforcing for the girls that mealtimes are social times.
Menus are prepared on a weekly basis and provide pupils with three choices and a daily selection of vegetables and fresh bread. It is good to see that the children, when choosing from the menu items, are willing to try new tastes and enjoy the selection of vegetables and salad bar each day. Fruit is available every day as an alternative to the main pudding choice.
All dietary requirements are catered for by the catering team. Allergens are clearly labelled on the weekly menus in line with the EU regulations on food labelling, and alternative choices are available for pupils with allergies to particular foods.
Information about any special dietary requirements, preferences and food allergies are requested from parents before their daughter starts at Bute House. This information is kept on the pupil’s Individual Health Care Plan. The Catering Manager is aware of all pupils with food allergies and a list is kept in the kitchen by the Catering Manager who ensures that all catering staff are aware of pupils with food intolerances.
The School has a Food Council, chaired by the Deputy Head, which meets once every half-term to discuss options and new ideas with the Catering Manager.
At Bute House, we believe that healthy eating should be promoted as an enjoyable activity, as well as one that contributes to good health. Lunch is one of our highlights of the day, and it is important that, whilst here at Bute House and when they leave the school, the girls have good and positive memories about the food and school meals.