Fighting food waste: Old Oak pupils have got it all wrapped up for Christmas

The Bubble and Squeak project is one of the school's many extra-curricular activities.

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Photo 1: Pupils at one of the Bubble and Squeak project's Christmas stalls

Children from Old Oak Primary school are fighting food waste while helping families stock up for next to nothing just in time for Christmas.

It’s all part of the school’s Bubble and Squeak project where they take delivery of fruit and veg, and tinned food which is close to or past it best before date. It’s still perfectly good to eat, though, and pupils make sure it doesn’t go to waste by handing it out to parents and members of the community who visit on Mondays after school.

Lydia Gandaa, learning mentor at the school in Mellitus Street, Shepherds Bush, said the scheme has flourished since it launched in April 2017.

“It teaches the children about the difference between a ‘best before’ and a ‘use by’ date – that you can use your eyes to see if food is still good or not if it’s past its ‘best before.’

“It teaches them about where food comes from, about the environment, and the importance of healthy eating.”

The project has always been child-led and It’s inspiring to see how proud they are of themselves. We’re very proud of them, too”

The food is donated by charities City Harvest and the Phoenix Project. People are invited to donate whatever they feel they want to, and the children get involved in handling that side, too, giving them an insight into manging money.

They also use the food in the classroom, turning surplus carrots into carrot cake for example, and creating dishes for community events such as a recent bingo for young and old at Old Oak Community and Children’s Centre.

Enriching experiences

It’s a great example of some of the many extra-curricular activities at the school which supplement their lessons.

Pupils recently took part in H&F’s Christmas singing festival.

They will be among those performing in a concert at the Royal Albert Hall on 7 March. Called Convo, it will give the young musicians and singers the chance to perform in a concert composed by emerging composer Charlotte Harding. Her work explores how music is a means of communication and gives us all a voice and has been commissioned by H&F’s Music Hub. You can visit the Royal Albert Hall’s website for more information and to buy tickets.

Pupils have also recently buried a time capsule at the Oaklands South regeneration site with the help of QPR FC and children’s education charity Urbanwise London. It contained postcards to their future selves, photos and copies of their lessons.

Impressive results

Families and staff were among the many in H&F celebrating their results after taking National Curriculum tests this year.

These measure the performance or 11-year-olds in reading, writing and maths against an expected standard.

Old Oak pupils were particularly strong in reading and maths. Ninety per cent met the grade in reading while 80 per cent met it in maths – way above the national requirement of 65 per cent. 

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