Keeping the interactive and fun learning going during the school holidays

19 April 2024
During the Easter break, the spirit of culinary adventure and outdoor learning flourished once again as our Holiday Food and Fun Programme returned to Willow Tree Primary School in Northolt.

As part of the programme, supported by Belazu and the Mayor’s Fund, children took part in cooking, school gardening, sports, and games, while also, crucially, accessing delicious and healthy lunches. Almost 2,500 children have taken part in our Easter and Summer Programmes over the last seven years, supporting families during the holidays, at no cost to them. 

We spoke with Rachel Corpus, SFM Partnerships and Programmes Officer, to learn more. 

Our Holiday Programme is primarily staffed by the school and school volunteers, but SFM teams coordinate and lead activity sessions and  Belazu volunteers serve lunch and supporting with sport and food education activities in the afternoons. The Easter Holiday Programme runs for three days. Each day begins with a SATs review, as the programme caters exclusively to Year 6 students who will be taking their SAT examinations in June. 

During lunch, the children are served a healthy, hot meal accompanied by access to the help-yourself salad bar and a table of fresh fruit. The children and Belazu volunteers sit together in a family-style dining format, fostering a sense of community. 

[The holiday programme has] made a big difference for one of our large families with seven children. They are always the first in line for The Felix Project food pantry during the school term, however as this doesn't run in the holidays, it is reassuring for them to know that at least two of their children can have a hot meal! - Teacher  

In the afternoon, SFM teams lead students through a variety of activities like:   

  • Gardening sessions   
  • Cooking lessons 
  • Outdoor games and crafts   

Students learn about seeds and soil, explore a garden, and make paper pots to plant different vegetables. They also learn about where food comes from, the importance of growing their own food, and how to prepare and cook their own meals at home. Last week, the children learned to make scrumptious summer rolls and explored fresh vegetables and herbs with one of our project leads. The programme is designed to create a positive, fun environment whilst supporting curriculum-based learning.

It's important for us to learn how to grow vegetables as food is so expensive, so if we can grow our own then we can save money. - Student   

Our holiday programme offers students a safe space where they can learn, grow, and have fun during their holiday. By providing students with a hot, nutritious lunch each day, the programme also helps alleviate food insecurity in the Willow Tree community.   

Learn more about our Holiday Food and Fun Programme here