At Michaela, we believe in developing the whole child in addition to their academic skills. Our motto is ‘work hard, be kind.’ Lunch is the perfect time to teach our children how to be kind and helpful towards each other.
Instead of a canteen culture where pupils can sometimes leave their trays behind, expecting an anonymous cleaner to clean up after them, at Michaela, pupils not only clean up after themselves, they clean up after each other. They demonstrate kindness and a sense of responsibility.
There are six roles at lunch and six children sit together at a table to eat. One pupil brings the food to the table and serves the other children. Another one pours the water while they all lay the table. Children learn how to lay the table properly. After eating the main course, one pupil clears everyone’s plates. Children pass their plates down to the front of the table politely and in an orderly fashion. Another pupil serves the dessert. After eating dessert, the remaining two pupils clear the dessert bowls away, wipe the table and clear the water jugs and cups as this photo demonstrates.
At Michaela, we serve a mixture of vegetarian and fish dishes. In addition to lunch, pupils get snack food at morning break.
The photos above were taken at a typical family lunch at Michaela. Teachers eat with the pupils. They play a special role in helping pupils develop the art of conversation at the dinner table. They encourage children to speak in full sentences and they ask them about what they have been learning in lessons that morning. Lunch provides a wonderful opportunity to review the adventures of Odysseus or the properties of a cell membrane.
Children learn the soft skills of conversation and good table manners when eating at Michaela.