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DD starting primary school!

(10 Posts)
Nummynums Mon 06-Jul-15 15:19:06

hello
My dd is allergic to egg and cow's milk. She's tolerating the milk better but egg still quite severe. Also she is my PFB
The nursery we have been in has been pretty good over all has some confusion over some things but generally was ok

She's now settling in at a prep school for reception in September and in the first week dinner staff put someone else's cheese crisps in her lunch box which i was very angry about but they apologised etc so I left it

Now I'm wondering I should have a meeting with her new reception teacher about my worries, I've noticed the children bring a lot of treats in and I was asked to bring in alternatives they also have snack time etc which I've been asked to bring alternatives, this is great but I am concerned about how much chocolate buttons my dd is getting through, I assumed the goodies will be given when it's a bday and oat bars will be given to her regularly at snack time But she's already got through most of the sweet treats I've provided which were meant to only be giving occasionally

Also I've noticed in the past a lot of foody trips have happened At the school such a cheese factory visit and cheese tasting, going to museum and having lunch at restaurant. I wonder how my dd would be included in all of this as we only eat out at trusted food chains

I'm also wondering if state schools are less food orientated at primary school and whether dd will be better included at her local state school because of healthy eating and more strictness about the whole thing

I have to admit I feel quite uneasy with the school because of the initial mix up so even though the local state school isn't up to scratch in other ways it may be better at dealing with allergies and not so 'foody' on a daily basis with treats etc

Please advise, so far it's been easy controlling everything At home and a few hours at nursery and trying to make sure dd is included but it breaks my heart that she'll be spending so much time at a school where they'll be going on food related trips or have lunch at eateries where dd won't be able to join in. I guess I'm wondering what sort of provision I can expect from them eg when eating out would they consider going to a place where dd can eat something from the menu etc cos I absolutely wouldn't be happy with her sitting at a table having sandwiches, whilst the others are having restaurant food and also educational visits to food factories, whilst I see the benefit in these I wouldn't be happy with dd being around allergens so openly And then seeing other kids eating cheese and feeling left out. She is only 4 and whilst she's aware of her allergies she still wants to fit in etc

I am paying a lot of fees so maybe I'm expecting more from them than a state school but have a feeling the state school may be better with food allergies. Will have a meeting with state school on Wednesday but wanted some advice/reassurances for you wonderful people first
Sorry for the long post I've been dreading her starting school only because of her allergies and her feeling left out and just want to know how everyone else deals with the transition

Thanks so much

Esmum07 Mon 06-Jul-15 15:43:27

I'm not sure if I can be much help as DS who is 8, has always been to a state school. He's now about to finish year 3 and has never been on a food oriented visit with school. His school, at reception, knew he does not like milk, oranges or chocolate (not allergic, just does not like them) and he would not be given milk in reception. On the rare occasion that there has been chocolate offered (such as small, mini eggs at Easter) the teacher has brought in a biscuit for DS so he doesn't feel left out. Most of the rewards at his school are based around stars or smileys and, when a child got enough at reception (for good behaviour like clearing up, helping another child, sitting quietly at story time) and in subsequent years for good work or trying hard, they'd 'win' what they call golden time - which is play time with one of the super duper toys rather than the bog standard ones. Now he is older the golden time is class won - so the whole class has to reach a standard for behaviour - and they get an hour after final play to come off lessons and do board games or play with more exciting class based stuff.

Hope that helps you in the conversation with the state school. I believe, from cousins with similar aged kids, that is pretty bog standard across our part of the country (South East England), so you should be told that's what is offered as rewards in the state school you're visiting.

Esmum07 Mon 06-Jul-15 15:50:37

By the way, on school visits it's always packed lunch in state school - DS's school actively discourages sharing food with each other whether it's a visit packed lunch or a normal school day one, again to stop allergic kids getting the things their parent hasn't provided (like the cheese crisps - I'd have to ask how the heck someone else's food was given out!) I've never known the school to take the kids anywhere for lunch. Just stops them asking for things they are allergic to and which may be 'hidden' in sauces etc.

The school has the allergens up for each school lunch meal (it's a three week rota of the same hot lunches) and if children are allergic or just don't like that food, they take packed lunches instead just to be safe.

Heels99 Mon 06-Jul-15 15:52:14

My kids are at state school they have never been given food related rewards or sweets or gone on food related trip. Not allowed to bring in sweets or cakes on birthdays if you do you have to hand them direct to the parents after school. One child in ŷear group with life threatening allergy. All kids are aware and it's very carefully managed but the whole school is not nut free. State schools are encouraged to participate in various healthy eating programmes so you won't find many chocolates or sweets being given out in school, none at all at ours.

Nummynums Mon 06-Jul-15 17:28:38

Thanks everyone for your replies! Yes this sounds really good and the feeling I get from people whose kids are at state primary, I think I'll have a chat with the teacher who is also the curriculum coordinator as to how she will plan visits taking into account his needs, if I feel the result is negative I may have to switch as the local school is undersubscribed so I know I will have a place there
Just trying to balance a good education with my dd being happy and not excluded
How do you cope with these feelings? Does the fear go? I suppose I am new to this and worried about him feeling left out or different and what effect that will have on him psychologically

Thanks to you all for your help

pashmina696 Tue 07-Jul-15 08:51:05

Hi, we had the choice of 2 good local state primaries, i picked one based on its allergy attitude. i had a meeting with the school prior to DS starting lunches to explain his allergies fully, his picture is in the kitchen with a list of his allergies. i get an egg free menu sent though termly, the school kitchen is free of nuts, and also excluded all sesame from its menu when DS started. if his teachers have had some food based learning or wished to give them some biscuit treats i was called or spoken to before the event so i could advise what would be safe and i provided egg free pancakes for DS for pancake day. I have safe snacks at school as kids usually bring in sweets for birthdays, though as it is often haribo which is safe for DS we still have loads at school. Also their morning snack is fruit or a carrot. there is always packed lunches on school trips. I feel the school take appropriate responsibility for his allergies and i dont worry about DS at all when he is at school.

Your childs school have full responsibility for them at school, if they have serious allergies they need to take them seriously, talk to them and ask them what their processes and procedures are - they must have other allergic children? you need a meeting with the teacher, perhaps the head teacher and definitely the catering head too.

Shapebandit Tue 07-Jul-15 09:13:57

I have 2 children with allergies. They need a strict gluten free diet. They are both at a small state school. The state school provide them healthy gluten free school dinners every day and any time they have a good related activity at school (such as cooking class or looking at foods from around the world) the teachers have provided gluten free alternatives so that they can join in.
When kids bring in cakes for the class for their birthday, the teacher gives my children a mini pack of haribo instead so they are not left out

trickster78 Tue 07-Jul-15 19:39:22

My daughter is at a village state school (2 form entry) and is finishing y1. She is allergic to dairy, eggs and nuts. The catering company for Hampshire provided her with a dairy and egg free menu (the whole menu is nut and nut trace free) and she has a hot lunch every day.
The school does not allow any treats to be brought in for birthdays and where they have given out food as part of a topic or for Christmas/Easter the teacher checks with me first and provides a safe alternative for her. I go in and cook with the class every week and we either do something safe for her or something that's tailored to her when it's her group's turn to cook.
I was terrified before she started but the school has been absolutely amazing and she feels confident and safe there. It has been a really positive experience.

BeeBawBabbity Sat 11-Jul-15 19:30:26

My dd is allergic to nuts. The school have been good so far, always checking with me before food is given in the class. But they do still have food based treats fairly regularly. Some teachers seem to like this more than others. She's had to watch while they all had a chocolate fountain, and next year's topic is foods of the world. Since she's also allergic to chick peas I reckon she might have to sit a lot of that out too. I am a bit annoyed about that, there's loads of other topics the teacher could choose that the whole class could join in with. But I guess it's just part of living with the allergy.

The residential trip was a bit of a nightmare though.

babybarrister Mon 13-Jul-15 15:15:27

as others have said, you will need to send in a box of treats for her so that if everyone else is getting something, for whatever reason, she can also have something

have a look at the Anaphylaxis campaign website which has a lot of good info about dealing with schools - have a look as well at Allergy Adventures www.allergyadventures.com/ which has just started offering free workshops for primary schools ....

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