Michaela Community School, Wembley
What is Family Lunch?
Family Lunch is the beating heart of Michaela. It is where children are taught the soft skills of conversation, good table manners and kindness. The photos below were taken at a typical family lunch at Michaela.
What is different about lunch at Michaela?
Instead of a canteen culture where pupils can sometimes leave their trays behind, expecting an anonymous cleaner to clean up after them, at Michaela, pupils not only clean up after themselves, they clean up after each other . Children demonstrate kindness and a sense of personal and collective responsibility.
There are six roles at lunch and six children sit together at a table to eat. One pupil brings the food to the table and serves the other children. Another one pours the water while they all lay the table. Children learn how to lay the table properly. After eating the main course, children pass their plates down to the front of the table politely and in an orderly fashion. One pupil returns the full tray of dirty dishes to the front of the hall. Another pupil serves the dessert. After eating dessert, the remaining two pupils clear the dessert bowls away, wipe the table and clear the water jugs and cups.
What do children eat?
At Michaela, we serve a variety of vegetarian dishes with traditional fish on Fridays. In addition to lunch, pupils have snack food at morning break. Pupils with allergies are catered for.
What do teachers do during lunch?
Teachers eat with the pupils. They play a special role in helping pupils develop the art of conversation at the dinner table. Teachers encourage children to speak in full sentences and they ask them about what they have been learning in lessons that morning. We also discuss the lunch topic of the day, which might be talking about your favourite film or which country you might like to visit in the future.
Michaela teachers are currently working on a book of typical Michaela lunch topics that families might like to use at home at the dinner table.
Can I see the Michaela family lunch first-hand?
Lunch at Michaela is a wonderful experience and we love inviting guests in to eat with the children. This gives our children further opportunity to build soft skills around conversation, politeness and welcoming someone new into our community.