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National recognition for healthy school in Washingborough

Local primary school Washingborough Academy has been nominated for a prestigious national award for inspiring its children to grow, cook and eat healthy food.

The academy is one of just three schools across the UK to be shortlisted for the accolade at the EDUcatering Excellence Awards run by the UK’s school meals industry, with the winner announced at a ceremony at London’s Royal Garden Hotel in October.

Washingborough has been nominated for an award to recognise the schools that have made the most progress in implementing the School Food Plan – a government-backed programme to improve the health of children through food education.

The school has a history of its commitment to healthy lifestyle. It was the first school in the UK to sign up to the Jamie Oliver Foundation’s Kitchen Garden Project.  

It’s also one of only 14 schools in England to receive a gold award from Sustrans for its efforts to encourage children to bike to school.

The school has achieved the Food for Life Partnership’s silver award, a Soil Association-led network of schools and communities across England – committed to transforming food culture and is one of only 20 schools in the county to hold the award.

The charity aims to reach out through schools to give communities access to seasonal, local and organic food, and to the skills they need to cook and grow fresh food.

Impressively the school grows its own vegetables in the school grounds and has planted an orchard of Lincolnshire variety apple trees.

Earlier this year the school was praised by the chief executive of Public Health England, Duncan Selbie, for the “enlightened” way it teaches pupils about a healthy lifestyle.

“We are absolutely delighted to be nominated for such a prestigious award. It’s recognition for the hard work and commitment from all the staff, parents, governors and, most importantly, the children,” said head teacher Jason O’Rourke.

“It’s a fundamental part of our school’s culture to educate and inspire our pupils to embrace a healthy lifestyle through food and exercise.

“A healthy child is a happy child and it’s been proven that health and happiness are crucial to better learning.”