Catering at Ralph Allen School
Ralph Allen School food is of a very high standard. The majority of food served is cooked on the premises using fresh ingredients, sourced from local suppliers.
In the food premises inspection, carried out by the Senior Environmental Health Officer in 2018, the kitchen received Level 5, the highest level, for its food hygiene. The report said, 'Good standards were being maintained and no issues were identified'.
The school was awarded the Healthy Schools Certificate and is currently working towards the Bronze Award for the Food for Life Partnership. We have certificates of farm assurance for all meat and eggs used. We also have declarations from our suppliers that no products contain undesirable additives or GM ingredients. No fish from the MCS fish to avoid list is served.
We do not use salt in any of our cooking, and the kitchen is a nut-free zone to minimise risk to children with nut allergies.
The school produces a wide range of freshly-cooked food each day, at very reasonable prices. Where else in Bath can you get a two-course meal for £2.60? A cup of coffee on the high street could well cost you more than that! Compare our prices with those in well-known sandwich retailers and supermarkets - we are very competitive! A Subway lunch for example costs £3.
We encourage all our students to eat school meals every day, for health reasons and for value for money. Price and quality go hand in hand at Ralph Allen School.
Comments from a mum of a year 7 student:
'My daughter is a year 7 new starter and found school quite daunting and scary in her first days last week. She did however come home raving about lunchtime and the lovely food. She told us more about the food and meals than the lessons! I thought it would be good for the catering team to know that they play a big part in settling the new ones in, and that a lovely lunch can help make someone's day.'
Lunchtime for Students
Lunch is either, immediately before, during or after period 4.
There are 3 lunch sittings as follows:
- First lunch: 12.30 – 1.10pm (Period 4 is from 1.10 – 2.10pm)
- Middle lunch: 1 – 1.40pm (Period 4 is split: Part 1 from 12.30 – 1pm, and Part 2 from 1.40 – 2.10pm)
- Late lunch: 1.30 – 2.10pm. (Period 4 is from 12.30 – 1.30pm)
All students start period 5 at 2.10pm.
Food is served in the Dining Hall and the Snack Shack at the following times:
11.05-11.25am - Break-time service for all students & staff
12.30-2pm - Lunch-time service for all students & staff: selected times for different year groups
After school - catering for events
Open all day, from 8.15am-2pm
8.15-8.40am - Breakfast Club
11.05-11.25am - break-time service for Years 11, Sixth Form and staff (different year groups may be able to buy break-time snacks at different times of the year, according to demand)
12.30-2pm - Lunch-time service for students & staff
The school also provides regular catering for two local church groups and other local community groups.
The school is entirely cashless. We have a biometrics system for payment. You will have received information about this but for FAQs about the biometric system, please click here.
Sample Menu 2023/24
Vegetarian & Vegan Food
The catering team are happy to provide food for vegetarian and vegan diets, and to cater for any allergies that students may have. Please speak to Mrs Ovens, Catering Manager (details below) if you have any special requirements and she will be happy to help you.
We are happy to announce that because of the increasing numbers of Ralph Allen students who are vegans, we have adapted our school menu in order to offer vegan alternatives at break and lunchtime. We will now cater for those who chose to be vegan, as well as for meat-eaters, vegetarians and those with particular allergies. Of course, these new dishes will be available to anyone, no matter what their food preference is.
The school is delighted to provide tasty and nutritious vegan options at lunch times and at break times, and in so doing we believe we will be meeting our core values of respecting the beliefs of our students.
These vegan meals include, but are not limited to: falafel wraps, vegan shepherd's pie, chickpea and sweet potato curry, mushroom risotto, five bean chilli wraps and lentil and butterbean lasagne. We will also provide delicious desserts, such as vegan brownies and muffins, and drinks with soya milk. So every day, there will be tasty options available.
The school says: ‘We always encourage students to voice their beliefs and to let the school know how we can improve any aspects of the institution to enable everyone to achieve to the best of their abilities. After students raised their concerns about the lack of vegan meal alternatives, we were more than happy to adapt our school menu to ensure that it is inclusive. We now want all our vegan students to come to the Snack Shack and Dining Hall to try our vegan dishes!’
Local suppliers are used as much as possible. Currently our main suppliers are as follows:
RD Johns (previously Jones Food Solutions), Bath / rdjohns.co.uk
RD Johns Foodservice is a successful Food Wholesaler and Catering Butchery, serving customers throughout the West Country for over 40 years. It bought out Jones Food Solutions in 2020, a family business established in 1911.
Arthur David, Bristol / arthurdavid.co.uk
Fruit and vegetables, locally sourced wherever possible. A food service distribution company that has been supplying the catering industry around Bristol and the South West for the past 50 years.
Bakers of Bath
Suppliers of bread and sandwiches.
School Meal Services
Suppliers of milk.
Enquiries about Catering and Parent Feedback
We would love feedback from parents about the lunch menu and other food at Ralph Allen School. Please email your comments to Mrs Debbie Ovens, Catering Manager firstname.lastname@example.org. For example, what is your child's favourite meal? What would your child like to see more of on the menu? What else could we serve in the Snack Shack?