Magic Breakfast - Fuel For Learning
School Stories
Magic Breakfast visits St Andrews Church of England primary school, Islington

This month we visited the lively breakfast club at St Andrews Church of England primary school in Islington.

At 7.50 every school morning breakfast club coordinator Shelley and her two colleagues Lynn and Michelle prepare the hall ready for when the children arrive at 8am.

Bagels, Cereal, porridge and pancakes are prepared and set out on tables ready to feed the children.

At 8am the children arrive and enjoy a nutritious breakfast. Bagels and pancakes are a particular favourite for many of the children. They also love the Apple and elderflower juice. “I love the bagels and juice” nine year old Kenya told us.

Eight year old Molly told us why she enjoys the breakfast club “I love coming to the breakfast club because it means we get to try food we wouldn’t normally eat, Bagels are my favourite. The best thing about the club is that it doesn’t come out of my pocket money and some people don’t get breakfast at home so they can have it here.”

At 8.30 the tables are cleared away and the children enjoy a variety of activities including musical statues, board games, toys and dance.

On the day Magic Breakfast visited the children enthusiastically danced along to Cha Cha Slide and the Macarena– even the teachers join in!

Isabella, 8 told is “You get to eat lots of bagels, We love bagels! We also get to play fun games”.

At 8.45 the children help to clear the hall and they get ready to go to their classes. To calm the children down after such energetic dancing the children play the silence game to see who can stay quiet for the longest – children who are the quietest get to leave for class first.

The club Coordinator explained how the breakfast club has helped improve children’s behaviour. “We have had children who were disruptive but when they started attending the breakfast club but the change we have seen in them was amazing, they have started to settle down and behave”.

The club has been run for over three years and feeds up to 25 children each day.

At 8.50am the children leave with the energy to face the school day.

Magic Breakfast at Woolmore Primary School , London

Earlier this year we visited Woolmore Primary school in Tower Hamlets, London, and were met with a lively and thriving break-fast club. The dining hall was packed with 50-60 children, all having a great time.

Each morning, Breakfast Club Coordinator Tasneem prepares the tables for the club; books, board games and arts and crafts are all available for children to amuse themselves with once they arrive. With this finished, Tasneem turns her attention to the cereal bar, and together with Ambia sets out bowls of cereal, ready to be eaten by hungry children.

At 8.30 the doors open and the children begin to arrive, either grabbing some of the cereal laid out or queuing up for hot food, like bagels, toast and porridge.

Bagels are a big hit with everyone, and it’s the favoured breakfast of Areeje, Ruksana and Anisha all aged 10. “We always fight over who gets the biggest bagel,” says Ruksana, “and I got it today!”

Having first become friends at the club, the girls come almost every day for a chance to catch up and socialise.

Headteacher Tracy Argent told us about the difference the breakfast club has made, “since starting the Breakfast Club, we’ve seen attendance and punctuality improve greatly. Some children used to have problems even staying awake in class, but now they can come to the club, get a good breakfast in their stomach and have a much more productive morning.”

“We started off by charging 20p per child, but nobody turned up, so we decided to make it free for all.” It’s certainly made a big difference, with children filling up the dining hall every morning.

The club also provides a great opportunity to reach out to the school community with Tracy spending every Thursday morning talking to parents and children about anything which might be concerning them.

A recent and hugely successful innovation at Woolmore has been the set up of a family DVD club, which also runs every Thursday. Children and their parents are invited to subscribe for a whole year for just £5, and are then allowed to borrow a DVD each week for only 50p.

So far it’s been a great success, with 20 families signed up after only two weeks of running. One young boy, Hassan, was clearly delighted by it. He came bounding up to Tracy Argent with jotter in hand, “I’ve started a review book.” He proudly showed us his first piece, a re-view of Monsters vs. Aliens, complete with illustrations.

It’s not just watching a DVD, it’s a chance for families to enjoy an activity together. It’s also a great help with their reading, writing, listening, and even with learning English. - Tracy Argent

As the 9 o’clock bell rang, 60 happy children went off to class relaxed and ready to learn.

At Magic Breakfast, we are proud to support clubs like Woolmore, & we know that there are many more schools across the country turning fantastic ideas like the DVD club into practice.


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