Thursday 19th March, 2015: The Secretary of State for Education, the Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP, joined pupils at St Eugene de Mazenod Primary School’s Magic Breakfast club in the London Borough of Camden this morning to see how a healthy breakfast settles children and helps them to concentrate in their core morning lessons.
Magic Breakfast delivers free, nutritious breakfast food to 17,000 children daily in areas of England where children would otherwise start their school day too hungry to learn. The charity has over 180 partner schools in London, 9 of which are in Camden.
Magic Breakfast supplies porridge, healthy cereal, bagels and fresh orange juice to primary, secondary, PRU and SEN schools where more than 35% of pupils are eligible for Free School Meals. The charity has received funding of £1.1 million from the Department for Education to set up breakfast provision in 184 schools, but has more than 270 schools on its waiting list and is anxious to reach them as soon as possible.
Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, said: “It was absolutely fantastic to join Magic Breakfast at St Eugene de Mazenod school. Having a healthy breakfast is a crucial way to start the day and helps ensure children can concentrate ahead of lessons. It was great to sit down and have breakfast with some of the children, and hear from them what they liked most about it. I am delighted that the Department for Education is supporting what is clearly a brilliant initiative”.
Carmel McConnell, Founder and Chief Executive of Magic Breakfast, said: “We are delighted with this show of support from the Secretary of State for Education at St Eugene de Mazenod Primary School. Our partnership with the Department for Education, corporate and charity partners ensures that thousands of previously hungry children are able make the most of the most important lessons, which are taught in the morning. Given that half a million children are in families which cannot afford to feed them, our hope is that we can quickly scale up our operation and accelerate the Magic Breakfast programme to help all hunger-hit schools”.
Greg Donohue, Associate Headteacher of St Eugene de Mazenod Primary School, said: “The provision of a healthy breakfast has made a significant difference to the school’s punctuality attendance figures. Children who have had a Magic Breakfast are calm and ready to learn. The school will continue providing breakfasts to children who need them, many of whom come from disadvantaged homes”.
Carmel McConnell: “I am very pleased to have been able to showcase the work of our partner school, St Eugene de Mazenod Primary, rated Outstanding by Ofsted, which has embedded a healthy Magic Breakfast as part of their school day”.
Monday 16th March, 2015: Travel writer Hannah Stuart-Leach took a break from her 400 mile walk from Chepstow to Scotland this morning to visit children at Faith Primary School’s Magic Breakfast club in Liverpool.
Hannah, from Bristol, started her walk on 1st March, at Sedbury Cliffs, the southern end of Offa’s Dyke Path, and estimates it will take her between 30 and 40 days to arrive at her (so far unnamed) destination, 400 miles away in Scotland. She says it’s an “experiment in slow travel, experiencing my own country on foot, as our ancestors did. I'll stop when the GPS says I've travelled 400 miles north.” So far she has braved torrential rain and a blanketing of snow, but has seen some stunning sights and met some lovely people along the way.
Hannah is using her walk as an opportunity to fundraise for three charities, Magic Breakfast, Child Poverty Action Group and Alzheimer’s Society. Magic Breakfast delivers free, healthy breakfasts to schools where pupils would otherwise start their lessons too hungry to learn. The charity feeds 17,000 children each school day, in 430 partner schools throughout England, 17 of which are in Liverpool.
While they tucked in to their cereal, porridge and bagels, Hannah told pupils at Faith Primary’s Magic Breakfast club about her journey so far and explained about the importance of good nutrition in keeping her energy levels up throughout the day. Hannah lived in South Korea for 5 years and brought some dried seaweed, sauces and chopsticks with her to show the children what South Korean children eat for breakfast. She said they were not too keen on the smell!
Hannah said the children were very interested in her retractable walking stick and water holder, and were really keen to give her tips on the best places to visit in Liverpool. She said they, impressively, knew exactly where their school was on her map and was even offered a bed for the night at one child’s gran’s house in Formby.
Hannah: “It’s so nice to see that the pupils at Faith Primary School get so much benefit from their Magic Breakfast club, especially socially. Thank you to staff and pupils for making me feel so welcome. It was a great morning spent with a really friendly and interesting group of children”.
Dot Cunningham, from Faith Primary School: “Magic Breakfast has made a huge difference to the children at Faith Primary. It enables us to provide healthy, nutritious breakfasts to children and give them the best start to the day we possibly can. Huge thanks to Magic Breakfast to contributing to our school and allowing us to provide this facility for free”.
To get to Faith Primary, Hannah walked through Chester, to Birkenhead, then took the ferry to Liverpool. It was her first visit to Liverpool and she said she’s been really impressed. She is now on her way to Formby, joining part of the Trans Pennine trail in her continuing bid to walk 400 Miles North.
You can follow Hannah’s progress via her blog, Facebook and Twitter @400MilesNorth.
Going without breakfast is leaving kids distracted and tired in the classroom
· Four in five teachers say mornings are more stressful because their pupils haven’t eaten breakfast
· On average, 66million minutes of teaching time are being lost every morning during the Rumbling Hour, the equivalent of 8.9million days a year
· Quaker launches ‘Feed Their Future’ report and campaign today with Magic Breakfast, surprising Peckham school with an inspiring breakfast time lesson from Carol Vorderman
HUNGRY kids arriving at school without breakfast are leading the nation’s teachers to dub 10.30am as the ‘Rumbling Hour’ and say it’s the most stressful point of their days, according to research conducted by Quaker*.
More than 500,000[i] primary-age children go to school every day without breakfast and teachers say it leaves them distracted, tired and needing attention, with 68% of teachers saying they can identify if a child has eaten or not just by observing their behaviour.
In fact, the Quaker Feed Their Future report reveals that on average 66 million minutes of teaching time[ii] are lost every morning due to hunger – the equivalent of 8.9million full days a year[iii].
During this ‘Rumbling Hour’, teachers said that hungry children:
· Struggle to concentrate (76%)
· Are sleepy and lethargic (54%)
· Disrupt other children in the classroom (44%)
· Demonstrate lower levels of creativity and focus throughout the day (44%)
· Try and find something to eat (10%)
Alison Lennox, Professor of Public Health Nutrition from the University of Surrey, said: “Since the 1930s numerous studies have looked to explore the impact that breakfast has on our ability to focus, concentrate and learn. It is only now that we are really beginning to understand the effect that breakfast has on a child’s attention at school, their grades and their behaviour in the classroom. The trend of children missing breakfast is increasing, which is directly impacting children in schools to perform at their best – academically, socially or creatively.”
Quaker today launched its 2015 Feed Their Future campaign as part of its five year partnership with Magic Breakfast – the charity set up to provide free breakfasts to primary schools as fuel for learning – with the aim of inspiring learning and raising funds for the charity.
Carol Vorderman today launched the campaign with a surprise lesson during a Magic Breakfast club at Rye Oak Primary School in Peckham where children were treated to a very special interactive session with Britain’s favourite maths whizz. Carol hosted the club, quizzing the children on nutrition-based maths whilst two teams raced the clock on a giant obstacle course to solve numerical problems, all in order to encourage feeding their bellies and brains.
Carol Vorderman, said: “We all know that primary school children are like sponges – absorbing every nugget of information. I’m extremely passionate about and have been actively involved in education and learning for decades, it is the greatest gift we can give our children. The state schools I went to back in the 60s and 70s changed my life and that of my family, for which I will always be grateful. Research showing that education can be adversely effected by not having breakfast is extremely concerning. Today we gave children a lively start to the day with a good brekkie, but every morning should start with a full tummy to help them thrive, concentrate, grow and be inspired.”
Quaker and Magic Breakfast currently provide 16,000 children with breakfast every morning to help get kids off to the best start of the day and nourishing learning. Since 2009, Quaker and Magic Breakfast have provided 673,429 bowls of porridge.
Carmel McConnell, founder of Magic Breakfast, commented: “Hunger is a very real problem in this country. We constantly hear from our partner schools the devastating impact this can have on a child’s ability to learn, and without an education their future life success is at severe risk. This research and the Feed Their Future report confirms and supports what we see every day and makes sure the spotlight is shone on child hunger. We can’t ignore this problem any more – it’s time to put an end to it and work to ensure every child has the right nourishment and fuel for learning.”
The campaign will help raise awareness of the importance of breakfast as the first meal of the day, and encourage the nation to join together with Quaker and Magic Breakfast in a mission to help feed kids in the mornings. This will include TV advertising – shown at 7.20am on Monday 19th January which will also include a text code, to donate (OATS14) as well as on pack support. Quaker and Magic Breakfast will also be taking over schools up and down the UK to give primary kids an inspirational start to the day and provide some food for thought.
More information on the Quaker and Magic Breakfast ‘Feed Their Future’ campaign can be found at quaker.co.uk. Text 70070 stating “OATS14 £3” to donate £3 to Magic Breakfast, which equates to almost one month of breakfasts for one school child.
[i]Breakfast consumption in UK schoolchildren and provision of school breakfast clubs. A Hoyland, KA McWilliams, RJ Duff & JL Walton: Nutrition Bulletin (2012), 37: 232-240
[ii] Calculation based on 1,000 teachers who reported that 15 minutes of teaching time is lost during the Rumbling Hour, with 4.4 million children in primary education this equates to 66million minutes lost per day
[iii] Based on a calculation of 4.4millon children multiplied by 15 minutes of time lost per child per day during rumbling hour, multiplied by 195 (the number of school days a year) and divided by the number of minutes in a day
27th October 2014
Magic Feast is a unique new event taking place on 12th November 2014 in the heart of South East London in
aid of local children’s charity Magic Breakfast. Some of SE1’s finest restaurants have come together to create
a street-food style festival, complete with food stalls, DJ, raffle, live auction and some schoolyard fun, all
located in the cafeteria of Surrey Square Primary School, one of the many schools supported by Magic
Breakfast. The charity delivers free, nutritious breakfasts to 8,500 primary school students with the aim of
aiding children’s concentration and learning in the classroom.
The influential Bermondsey Street gastropub The Garrison, whose opening eleven years ago paved the way
for the regeneration of SE1’s culinary scene will be serving a poached pear salad with chicory, stilton and
caramel walnuts. Their sister restaurant and neighbour Village East, will be serving their now infamous Lamb
Meatball sliders. Hutong will be descending 33 floors from The Shard and treating visitors to their poached
pork wontons with garlic spicy sauce. Starting life as the Meatwagon in South East London, founders of
MEATliquor Yianni Papoutsis and Scott Collins will be serving up their famous and deliciously messy
burgers across the evening. They will also provide music for the event courtesy of their very own radio station,
MEATtransMISSION. The Good Egg street-food stall, soon to be opening a permanent site in Stoke
Newington, will be serving Shakshuka, a warming North African tomato stew served with eggs and preserved
lemon yoghurt. New to the London Bridge block is The Breakfast Club, who are serving guests Pancakes with
berries and cream. Not only that, Columbia Road’s 1235 Donuts will be making a guest appearance with their
In support of Magic Breakfast, a fantastic raffle on the evening will give guests the chance to win prizes
generously donated by a selection of South London restaurants and bars. Prizes include a voucher to dine at
favourite oyster and seafood restaurant, Wright Brothers, located in Borough Market as well as the chance to
win an exciting pasta making class with Chef Lale of Bermondsey Street restaurant, Zucca.
To wash all of this down, local wines and craft beer have been provided and can be enjoyed throughout the
night with the evening concluding at 11pm.
Tickets, priced at £50, include all food and drink as well as a raffle ticket, and are available to purchase at
For further information about Magic Feast please contact Ginny MacLean
| 020 3176 6640
Notes to Editors:
Tickets: £50 - available from www.magicfeast.eventbrite.co.uk
Location: Surrey Square Junior School, London, SE17 2JY
Time: 6.30pm – 11pm