At Woolwich Polytechnic School for Girls, we believe in developing the whole child in addition to their academic skills. Lunch is the perfect time to teach our children how to be kind and helpful towards each other.
Instead of a canteen culture where pupils can sometimes leave their trays behind, expecting an anonymous cleaner to clean up after them, at WPSfGs, pupils not only clean up after themselves, they clean up after each other. They demonstrate kindness and a sense of responsibility.
There are six roles at lunch and six children sit together at a table to eat. One pupil brings the food to the table and serves the other children. Another one pours the water while they all lay the table. Children learn how to lay the table properly. After eating the main course, one pupil clears everyone’s plates. Children pass their plates down to the front of the table politely and in an orderly fashion. Another pupil serves the dessert. After eating dessert, the remaining two pupils clear the dessert bowls away, wipe the table and clear the water jugs and cups.
Teachers eat with the pupils or a pupil who has been awarded the status of “Future Leader”. They play a special role in helping pupils develop the art of conversation at the dinner table. They encourage children to speak in full sentences and they ask them about what they have been learning in lessons that morning. Children learn the soft skills of conversation and the art of fine dining when eating at WPSfGs.
Lunch provides a wonderful opportunity to celebrate acts of kindness as a whole school community. At the end of family lunch pupils have around thirty minutes in which they may do homework or spend some time socialising in the school playground.
Family lunch is squarely focused upon building strong common values and a sense of school community. We pride ourselves on being a school with strong morals at our core. Family lunch, where all pupils come together for the duration, is a key part of this moral focus. We rigorously endeavour to avoid any potential for sectarianism in school. Instead we actively create systems which ensure all pupils, regardless of race or religion, mix fully throughout the school day.
Please note: All pupils attend family lunch daily. There are no exceptions. There are no pack lunches at WPSfGs. No food or drink is to be bought on to the school site (except water). If a pupil brings in anything forbidden into the school, items will be confiscated, and pupil(s) will receive a detention.