Ashley C of E Primary School


Mrs Barden and Mrs Stevens took the 12 members of the Food Council on a special 'treat' visit to Jamie Oliver's restaurant in Guildford. The children learnt all about the different vegetables they use in their salads and pasta dishes and the fruits that are put into the 'Fruit Water'. They learnt about the work that Jamie Oliver is currently doing in Brazil to ensure that the children there have healthy diets. The children were able to make their own Pizzas: they rolled out the dough, chopped up the vegetables and sprinkled them with cheese. They then made their own 'fruit water'. The staff were so welcoming and spoke with the children about all the restaurants and the different kinds of home-made pasta they use every day. It was a great visit and the children learnt much from it.


Year Four 'Passed its Best' Recipes

As part of Year Four's 2015-16 Design for Change, the children have designed recipes for food that is past its best. Inspired by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's 'War on Waste', which highlighted the incredible amount of food waste we produce in Britain, the children decided to design recipes based around food that is soon to be past it best as well as produce that might not be beautiful and the first chosen from the shop shelves. Hopefully, these can be used to reduce waste but also offer a tasty treat:

Year Four 'Past its Best' Savoury Recipes

Year Four 'Past its Best' Sweet Treat Recipes

Year Four 'Past its Best' Drinks Recipes


The Surrey finalist’s Baking Challenge at Claremont Fan court School

Monday 16th March saw the final of the Surrey Baking Challenges at Claremont School. Two of our Year 6 children (Grace and Robbie), finalists of the Ashley baking challenges, took part in the Under 12 category of the competition. Both children had prepared themselves exceptionally well. They had refined both their cake designs and recipes. We are delighted to announce that Robbie was the outright winner in this category, he was presented with a trophy (that he can keep for a year) that will be engraved with his name. Well done to both of you; your finished designs were wonderful and your cakes tasted delicious.

Cooking at Ashley

The cooking sessions have been a great success. The children are just about to start their second round of cooking – each year group will have another session this term or in the summer term. The children have enjoyed learning new skills, as indeed have some of the parents. Below are some photos to show a little flavour of the sessions.


Baking Challenge Part 2


On Friday 27th February the four winners of the first Baking Challenge took part in the final ‘Part 2′ Challenge held in school. The children were all well prepared, they had recipes, ingredients, decorating equipment and ideas all to hand. The challenge this time was to bake and decorate a cake or biscuits, on the theme of ‘Spring Time’, in just 2 hours. All approached the activity with professionalism and independence. It was clear that all four children had just one aim; to win. The final cakes were outstanding, it’s hard to believe that they had been baked and decorated by Year 6 children. The judges were brought in to judge on the taste and appearance. Unfortunately only  2 of them could go through to the Surrey championships in March. The winning cake was chosen because of the variety of techniques used to decorate it, it also had a delicious lemon sponge with buttercream.The judges liked the lambs and bunting all prepared within the time.  The second finalist was selected for the mastery shown in preparing a smooth icing topping and using cutters and coloured icing to make the kite and flowers, this cake had a delicious vanilla flavour with a jam and buttercream filling. Of the other two constants one prepared delicious stem ginger biscuits with icing motifs and the other vanilla cupcakes presented on a cake stand with bunting and an ingenious tree made from grape stalks. Well done to you all, it was a difficult decision to make. However, we consider that you are all winners.


Ashley’s First Baking Challenge

Nineteen Year 6 children have just taken part in Ashley School’s first ever ‘Baking Challenge’. The children were challenged to bake a cake at home, then bring it into school, along with all the ingredients they needed to decorate it in 1 hour on the theme of ‘My Hobby’.  We had some great results with many different hobbies represented including: swimming, rugby, ballet, reading, art, football and cooking. It was a really great afternoon with all the children putting in such a lot of effort. The four winners will now have to come back into school and bake and decorate a cake in just 2 hours. Well done to you all. You really did all deserve to win, unfortunately only 4 could go through to the next round. The two winners of this round will then take part in the Surrey Baking in March.

Food for Life Bronze Award Event


Lily and Grace (Year 6 Food council members) spent the day in London attending a ceremony to collect our Food for Life Bronze Award. They were treated to a delicious organic 2-course meal and plenty of cups of tea. Of course, they had to give a short presentation about the meaning of this award to Ashley School and how it has helped us to move our practice forward. The girls were the first to speak and did so eloquently and clearly. They were presented the certificate by the TV chef Brian Turner CBE (Grace said that he was her favourite chef).

We are now in an excellent position to go for the Silver Award and we even cover many elements of the Gold Award – so watch this space!


The Importance of FOOD at Ashley


At Ashley we believe that what the children eat and where their food comes from is vital to their well-being and knowing how to live a healthy lifestyle. Our ‘Food Council’ is made up of 12 children from Years 1 to 6; they meet each month to discuss the food that they eat at lunchtime and share their thoughts and advice on how to make lunchtimes even better. We continually seek views and opinions from the children to ensure that they are provided with an enjoyable and healthy diet. Menus are carefully looked at and altered according to demand. We also invite parents in to enjoy our lunchtime experience so that they can share their feedback.

The children in all year groups work alongside our gardener to help plant and grow fruit and vegetables. As a result the children at Ashley are fully aware of what we can grow here and what needs to be done to ensure that our crops are varied and plentiful. Much of this food is prepared by the kitchen staff, for the children as part of their lunch. Each year group has a growing focus so that they become experts in the different areas during their time at Ashley: Year One – native wild flowers; Year Two – bees and honey; Year Three – fruit trees; Year Four – currants and berries; Year Five – salads and herbs; Year Six – vegetables. (For more information on the food we grow, please look at our Eco School page.)

The food served at lunchtimes is of a very high standard. We serve food meeting the Food for Life Silver Standard; all our meat is organic, our eggs free range and all food is sourced locally and seasonal whenever possible. Lunch is served on china plates and eaten with silver cutlery. The children enjoy ‘family style’ dining, where they serve each other on the table. We have found this  makes lunch time a more social and communal experience.

Whilst we strongly encourage children to enjoy our school lunches, largely locally sourced, organic and always healthy, we also encourage families who choose packed lunches to prepare healthy, waste free meals. Please take a look our advice on How to Prepare Healthy Packed Lunches and also How to Prepare Waste Free Lunches.

We have a partnership with our local grocer (The Naked Grocer) who not only supplies us with seasonal, unpackaged fruit and vegetables but also host our Year Two children every year during their healthy living topic.

Part of our vigilance in ensuring that food waste stays at a minimum is to ‘Weigh the Waste’ each day. Year Five Owl Class weigh our waste with the kitchen then upload the data to our Ecodriver software so that we can analyse it in our maths learning. This is then linked to the menu, which is adapted as a result of the findings. Our target is to keep the waste below 10kg each day. All waste is composted, which then goes back into the soil for our next round of food growing.

Ashley School currently holds a Bronze Award from the Food for Life partnership. Food for Life is one of the most highly acclaimed organisations working in food education and provision in the UK. In working towards our Bronze Award Ashley has experienced many positive changes such as Year Four’s partnership with Bore Place farm and. The feedback received from Food for Life was incredibly positive and we expect to reach the Silver Award in the near future. Click on the link to find out more about Food for Life.