Subject Material

School Dinners

Published: 05.12.2012, Updated: 03.03.2017

School dinners are an important source of nutrition for school pupils. What do you eat in the middle of the school day? Do you have a canteen in your school or do you bring your own food for lunch?

School DinnersSchool DinnersA school dinner is provided to school children at most schools in the UK. In recent years there has been more focus on nutrition and healthier school meals, especially after celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, in 2004, started a campaign to provide better quality food in schools. The school dinner is perhaps the main meal of the day for many children. Therefore, it is important that the food provided at the school is good and also appeals to the children.


Tasks and Activities


Harrow School is a public school in England. Many students live at the school and perhaps only go home at weekends or in the holidays.


You may wish to find out more about Harrow School. You can listen to a student talking about the school here: English Public Schools - Interview 


Find Out

Read what Jamie Oliver thinks about English school dinners on the link below and answer the questions.

Jamie Oliver - School Dinners 

  1. Why did he start the campaign?
  2. What did he achieve?
  3. Why was it so difficult to achieve his goal?
  4. What does he emphasise in his manifesto?
  5. What do you think he would say about the food offered in your canteen?


Make a survey at your school in which you ask students about their eating habits at school. Make your own questions or use the suggested ones.

  1. What do you eat?
  2. When do you eat?
  3. Do the teachers mind if you eat during lessons?
  4. Do you bring your own food?
  5. How much do you spend in the school’s canteen?
  6. What do you think about the selection of food in the canteen?
  7. Do you think that the food in the canteen is healthy?
  8. How important is it for you personally to eat healthy food?
  9. What are your concerns when you buy food in the canteen? Categorise from 1 – 6 (1=low priority – 6=top priority)
    • price
    • how tempting it is
    • how quick it is to eat
    • how practical it is to eat
    • how healthy it is, calories, proteins)





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