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Sixth Formers and boarding school meals

(15 Posts)
Pollyannasglad Sat 13-Oct-12 12:13:43

My daughter's boarding school in thinking about changing the rules so that attendance at meals is non-compulsory and they will then cook their own meals if they wish! Help? This came about as a request from the food committee and pressure from a vocal minority but I'm not sure that it's a good idea. Anyone out there had a similar experience? The meals are great, nutritionally balanced, lots of choice and caters for all kinds of special diets.

schoolchauffeur Sat 13-Oct-12 16:30:23

I would think this is a bad idea unless someone is really checking up on what they are doing. At my DDs school the only meals which are optional for Year 13 are breakfast ( but they have to go to their little common room in house and have tea and toast/cereal) and on some sunday evenings when they are allowed to order in some kind of takeaway. I can't see they would really have any time to do their own cooking really- maybe sometimes at the weekend as part of an activity!!

WofflingOn Sat 13-Oct-12 16:32:53

They will be at university in a year or so, might as well start building their independence and responsibility now.

happygardening Sun 14-Oct-12 07:41:56

Interesting. I personally would not be against it. But I would want to know how is the food going to be organised? Are they provided with portions of uncooked food? Or money to go out and buy their own food? What happens if you dont like the food provided that day? Secondly where are they cooking this food? How good are the cooking facilities, equipment etc? Are they going to get help and advise on how to cook my DS at boarding school would have no idea! How much time are they going to spend doing this cooking? Do they have this time available with work/sport/music/drama committments? Are they cooking every day thats also quite a committment. And finally what happens if the meal they cook is unedible? Is there a take away near by? Who pays for it?

TwllBach Sun 14-Oct-12 07:46:14

Being able to clearly remember my attitude to food and eating when I was in 6th form, and that of others I knew, I wouldn't be best pleased. Unless they are going to police them actually eating?

BoringSchoolChoiceNickname Sun 14-Oct-12 08:09:11

Not a bad idea if they can offer a bit of houseparent support with the cooking unless the girls have a competitive thinness/non-eating culture in which case it's risky.

oshgosh Sun 14-Oct-12 12:52:06

I can't see how it would work, practically speaking. Either they are using kitchinettes in which case there won't be enough facilities to go round or they are letting them loose in the kitchens which I can't imagine the Catering or H&S managers being too pleased about.
It would only work if it was run as a Club where they had to book in advance to use the facilities. I can see that being popular - something like Come Dine With Me - and a good step to independent living.

Pollyannasglad Sun 14-Oct-12 22:15:56

It's difficult isn''t it? Totally agree with the independence issue but am concerned about the culture of being skinny at this age. The plan seems to be that the girls will provide their own food if they opt out of school meals and I think the Catering and H&S managers won't be thrilled. Ofsted inspection coming up and I wonder what they will have to say!! Bless the Houseparents...there is no way they have the time to supervise this or chase up girls who aren't eating or cleaning up after themselves. Sometimes think the school is afraid to say 'no' to these confident and slightly scary young women for fear of losing school fees!

happygardening Sun 14-Oct-12 22:34:02

In my extensive experience of boarding schools children barely have time to breath let alone nip out to the supermarket and buy food and cook it! Unless they've got an enourmous and well equipped kitchen also can't see how the girls can all cook different meals. Seems badly thought through to me!

3nationsfamily Mon 15-Oct-12 10:44:26

My DS (boys only boarding) school does a "Masterchef" course for all sixth year students in a specially equipped teaching kitchen so they leave school able to cook a basic range of meals for themselves before setting off to University. The Masterchef title is definitely more of a marketing spin as they learn basics like Spaghetti Bolognese, chicken curry, apple crumble and so on!

FreddyStaratemyhampster Mon 15-Oct-12 12:49:42

Wow 3nations- that sounds great. Would you mind saying which school- or PM me- as I have a friend who is looking for a boys' school for 6th form.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 15-Oct-12 20:26:30

Having been at a girl's boarding school when it switched to canteen from meals portioned at mixed year group tables and eaten together en familee and witnessed the subsequent dramatic rise in anorexia as it became easy to miss meals I would be dead against this. I have chosen a school even though it is a day school all the girls including sixth formers sit down with staff at lunch time.

notanotter Mon 15-Oct-12 20:28:27

3nations that sounds lovely!!

3nationsfamily Tue 16-Oct-12 10:06:02

Yes- the school is Merchiston Castle school in Edinburgh, they take boarders from all over UK and internationally too, and particularly for the Sixth form years where they have a brand new purpose built boarding house with its own small gym!

Pollyannasglad Wed 07-Nov-12 19:24:43

Thanks everone, I have fed your brilliant views back to school and hope for a sensible outcome.

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