Longacre School welcomed William Sitwell, writer, presenter, MasterChef critic and editor of Waitrose Food magazine, to officially open the school’s new dining room on Wednesday, 18th April. Mr Sitwell also planted a bay tree in the school’s new herb garden, which the pupils will maintain in order to provide ingredients for the school lunches.

The completion of the new £1.5 million dining and kitchen facilities concludes the third phase of the school’s ambitious 5-year development plan which has seen the construction of a new two-storey sport and creative arts centre as well as a multi-purpose Astro sports pitch.

The school’s old dining room and kitchen were demolished in the summer of last year. They have been replaced by new, modern kitchen facilities specifically designed to cater for young children and completed in September 2017, followed by the dining room which was completed in March 2018.

The new dining room, designed by IID Architects, delivers increased seating for both staff and pupils in a bright and light environment, with views over the school’s playing fields.

Headmaster Matthew Bryan said: “Our new dining room and kitchens allow us to deliver a quality and range of food that is second to none. They sit at the heart of the school and represent all that is good about Longacre. Our motto is ‘a happy heart goes all the way’ and the new facilities call to mind the old Spanish proverb barriga llena, corazón contento: a full belly and a happy heart.

Children need nutritious and exciting lunches in order to get the most out of their busy school day, but food can also be an integral part of their learning and development. We want our pupils to be aware not only of the quality and nutritional value of their food, but also its provenance and sustainability. They look forward to fish on Fridays, as well as to experimenting with new flavours and experiences.”