New Beginnings

Whether starting school for the first time or entering a new year group, the new school year brings a fresh start with lots of exciting, and sometimes daunting, new experiences for children. This page is about making sure you’re absolutely up to date with everything you need to know about school meals.
It’s also about helping you reassure your child that, with their friends, lunchtimes will be a really fun part of the school day and that there will be lots of different, delicious and healthy foods for them to enjoy.

We have partnered with Chartwells Independent, one of the leading providers of catering to independent schools.

Together with Chartwells we have produced a food philosophy:

We love delighting our pupils with tasty, freshly prepared food. Developed by award-winning chefs using great ingredients, we present food with passion and deliver it with care and pride. Nutritionally balanced, we give pupils the choice and variety that keeps them coming back.

We love enhancing the understanding, fun, experience and attainment of our pupils by sharing the importance of healthy eating from a young age.We support their achievement at school and beyond through the curriculum, interactive nutrition and education, helping them develop personally.

We care for the environment we live in and help to create a sustainable world for future generations – both in what we do and in how we help to educate our pupils. We support British farmers by buying locally sourced eggs and milk.

Meet our Catering Team

Our Catering team at Hydesville Tower School

Gareth Long

Gareth Long

Chef Manager

Gareth joined Hydesville in 2013 and has been with Compass for ten years. His passion lies in t...

Dawn Taylor

Dawn Taylor

Assistant Chef

Dawn has been working at Hydesville since 1998 and works alongside Gareth to ensure a warm welc...

Eating at school

Where do we eat at school?

Lunch at Hydesville is served in the School Dining Room; pupils queue through to the server to the entrance door from the main Prep School.

How does lunch service work at school?

Catering offer is an integral part of the school’s offering. However, we recognise some older pupils can opt out of this service (Years 10 & 11).

Reception and Lower Prep pupils are served first, from 11.30am. From 12.15pm pupils in Upper Prep are served and from 1.00pm onwards the Senior School is served. Pupils are led into the dining room by a designated teacher on duty, in their year groups. For the Senior School there is a weekly rota with year groups rotating the order in which they are served.

What lunch options are available?

There is always a wide range of dishes to choose from, typically including:
• A choice of hot meals, with a wide variety of vegetarian options
• Alternatives, such as soup or jacket potatoes
• A full salad bar serving meats, fish dishes, rice, pasta and salad, with bread rolls/baguettes
• A selection of hot and cold desserts

There is a range of age specific options within all of the above. Allergies and pupils with special dietary requirements can be catered for on request and there are always vegetarian options available.

Throughout the year we vary the menu with the inclusion of specific theme days such as Mexican day, American day and Christmas dinners etc.

We provide assorted refreshments at various school events throughout the school calendar including coffee mornings, sporting events and parent engagement activities.

Menu development is ongoing. We actively encourage feedback from the pupil body. Menus follow a three week cycle, and are available on the school website and are displayed in school.

Is there a breakfast club?

There is an option breakfast club available, with a range of traditional options.

What happens when we go on school trips?

Packed lunches for school trips are provided with children placing their orders from the packed lunch menu.We provide an offering of a roll/sandwich with a filling choice, apiece of fruit, crisps, homemade cake and water or juice.  All special dietary requirements catered for upon request.

Nursery, Prep & Senior School Menus

Week 1 Nursery, Prep & Senior School menu (W/C 9/11/2020, 23/11/2020, 7/12/2020)

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Week 2 Nursery, Prep & Senior School menu (W/C 16/11/2020, 30/11/2020, 14/12/2020)

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The stars of our menu

In 2014 we asked Chartwells Independent children to help us choose a brand new range of characters for our menus and the overwhelming favourites were our Food Super Heroes. Each character has its own special powers and all are ready to make school mealtimes more exciting. We’d like the characters to become well known to you too, so when your child mentions Sadie Sweetcorn you’ll know exactly who they’re talking about!

The cast of colourful characters will really come to life at lunchtime. Food Super Heroes will feature on the menus, on activity-based place mats and on stickers for the children.

It’s all part of feeding both your children and their imaginations.

The leader of the team, Boss the Banana’s fibre helps keep everything running smoothly. When our team gets stuck, the Boss is always around to get things moving again.

Silvertop’s super-charged calcium levels give him his super-strong bones. Our heroes can always rely on him during their adventures.

Packed full of iron to help growing minds work better, Brains the Broccoli is always on the ball to hatch perfect plans for the team.

Doc the Kiwi knows just what the team needs to keep on top of its game. She helps our heroes stay healthy by boosting their immune systems and preventing illness.

Barry the Beans packs a mighty protein punch! He’s a real body builder, using his muscle power to help build the team’s energy and spirit.

The Pasta Pack are an unruly bunch, each with their own unique personality. Their wholegrain powers make them passionate with strong hearts, and they’ll stop at nothing to defend the team.

Bud ’n’ Jud the Spuds are big, but they’re bursting with energy thanks to their carbohydrate super-power. When there’s hard physical work ahead, Bud ’n’ Jud are raring to go!

Casey the Carrot’s super hero levels of vitamin A keep her eyes sharp… even in the dark! She’s always looking out for the team.

Hydra is always working hard to fight off evil toxins that stop the team from performing at their best. She never rests, rarely makes mistakes and her powers of concentration are immense!

Sadie Sweetcorn is an eager explorer who travels the world and loves to share stories of her exciting adventures. Sweetcorn is full of good stuff and can help you feel fuller for longer – which means less time for snacking on bad stuff and more time to enjoy good stuff like exploring.

All things nutrition

We fully understand the specific nutritional needs of young children. We believe that a healthy sustainable diet is one that consists of a balance between all different food groups.

To ensure we are giving developing bodies the required nutrients, we know that variety is key.  There isn’t a quick fix or a short list of “power foods” to help children achieve all the essential nutrients; different foods contain different vitamins and minerals, in different capacities. Food should be exciting, fun, interactive and rewarding; children should be consuming food of a variety of colours, textures, shapes and smells every single day – that is the secret to a healthy balanced diet.

A balanced diet and adequate physical activity levels should sit side by side, resulting in a healthy lifestyle and healthier future. Our aim is to give every pupil the best possible start in life by feeding their growing bodies with nutritious food as well as fuelling their developing minds.

What does nutritionally balanced actually mean?

A nutritionally balanced menu is based on the following food groups:

• Starchy foods

• Fruit and vegetables

• Meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein

• Milk and dairy

• Limited amounts of foods and drinks high in fat, sugar and salt

• Plus, healthier drinks

The general principle of a balanced menu emphasises the importance of providing a wide range of foods across the week. Variety is key, including different fruits, vegetables, grains, pulses and types of meat and fish. Offering a wider range of different foods provides a better balance of nutrients.



Meg Longworth
Head of Nutrition

Meg is a registered nutritionist and has been with Chartwells since 2012.
Meg is responsible for leading our bespoke Beyond the Kitchen programme which has been developed to support teachers in schools and develops unique resources to support schools from a nutrition and education perspective. Meg is also responsible for achieving the commitments of the Chartwells Health and Wellbeing Strategy.

Clare Hedderman

Clare has been with Chartwells Independent since 2014.
Her responsibilities include delivering nutrition education, supporting special dietary requirements and menu development.
Clare visits our schools on a daily basis to deliver classroom workshops and to observe food service.

Our Policies

Health, Safety & Environment PolicyView/Download
Quality PolicyView/Download

Nourished Life

Compass has a brand new website called Nourished Life that has now gone live! Nourished Life is a health and wellbeing website, designed by central Compass Group Marketing and Nutrition teams to help promote health and wellbeing to adults.

Norland Training helps catering, pastoral and teaching staff to identify with pupils, understand their needs and gauge the impact mealtime experiences have on each and every age group.

Chartwells Independent recognises the importance of outstanding service in the school environment, and over the last couple of years we have worked with the prestigious Norland College to develop exclusive training programmes for our teams. Our Prep School training programme focusses on mealtime experiences for 4 to 11 year olds.


We also use assemblies, workshops and lesson plans to help communicate the importance of healthy eating,

and support its vital connection with learning, in an informative,

entertaining and engaging way.


To find out more, you can follow us on twitter, and follow our catering provider, Chartwells Independent:




Still want to know more? Why not send us a message below.


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