Health and wellbeing are at the forefront of everyone’s minds as we navigate through a global pandemic; our diet has an important relationship with those two things. As an independent school nutritionist with catering provider Chartwells, and the very first to live on a school campus, Millfield’s nutritionist Niall Davison outlines the school’s unique ‘EatToExcel’ initiative and how he is helping students to make healthy choices now and in their lives after Millfield.
Millfield’s catering company Chartwells provide healthy, nutritious and appetising food for pupils and staff to enjoy together. We take pride in maximising the choice and variety available every day using fresh, locally and ethically sourced produce where available.
The needs and tastes of every pupil differ and our breakfast, lunch and supper menus are designed to accommodate this, see a sample menu.
There is a cereal counter, a hot section offering a full English breakfast, as well as the option of a continental breakfast, toast, yoghurt and fresh fruit.
Traditional hot dishes offering meat and vegetarian options, seasonal vegetables and carbohydrates
World Food Bar with both meat and vegetarian dishes from around the globe, authentic international salads and accompaniments
Extensive salad bar ranging from seasonal, individual vegetable to grain based “super salads”, lean protein and homemade dressings
Homemade soup and bread station
Paninis, jacket potatoes and baked sweet potatoes with a selection of fillings
A wide selection of hot and cold puddings
Whilst the range of food on offer at supper is similar to lunch, we feel this is a time for pupils to relax and an opportunity for the chefs to interact more with pupils. This is where our pop-up and themed meals such as ‘Street Food Festival’ and ‘Best of British Lunch’ come into place, combined with live cooking from our chef's stations to make for a homely and authentic supper experience for pupils.
Boarders have the opportunity to unwind with friends and enjoy meals in a more leisurely fashion on Sundays. Brunches are designed with grazing in mind and the day wouldn't be complete without a traditional roast dinner.
Food Quality and Traceability
We take pride in using the highest possible quality ingredients sourced from respected suppliers. Regular audits are carried out on our suppliers to ensure animal welfare, traceability and ethnic farming methods are practiced.
Millfield adheres to the 2014 EU regulations, which require the identification of specific allergens in food. The regulations are designed to improve the nutritional and allergen information provided to pupils, helping them to make informed choices.
Our online menu planning software allows us to manage the provision of allergen information accurately as live information of ingredients is available at the touch of a button.
Beyond the Dining Hall
We offer a variety of educational activities and workshops to prepare pupils for a healthy life after Millfield, including food budgeting and nutrition expertise. We also have a Catering Committee; this is a forum to facilitate two way communications between Chartwells and the pupils. Discussions about the food on offer, likes/dislikes and new dish suggestions take place.
Did you know that one of our three Head Chefs, Richard Meakin, worked for 15 years at Michelin-starred restaurant Bibendum in London?
The Millfield Medical Centre, located at the heart of the Millfield campus between the main school area and the majority of the boarding houses, can treat a complete range of illnesses in exactly the same manner as any other surgery. It is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week during term time by a highly competent and dedicated health care team consisting of seven fully qualified nurses and a health care assistant.
Other services offered by the Medical Centre include:
• Asthma clinic
• Travel clinic for vaccinations/malaria tablets etc
• Teenage sexual health clinic
•Guidance around Disordered Eating
• Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) testing annually
• Minor injuries clinic
• Minor surgery clinic
All routine dental care should be undertaken at home during the holidays. Private emergency appointments can be arranged as required. The private dental insurance scheme offered by the school will cover the cost of these appointments. Orthodontic treatments can be arranged on a private basis only.
Caring for sick pupils
The Millfield Medical Centre houses 15 beds that are covered 24 hours a day, and a self contained isolation unit. This means for those children with severe or highly infectious illnesses they can be comfortably looked after by trained professionals away from the boarding house reducing any risk of spreading the illnesses. In the event of minor illness, boarders are normally nursed in their boarding houses, with full back-up from the medical staff. Close liaison is maintained between housemasters/housemistresses, medical staff and the parents of sick children in all cases, although the right to confidentiality is given after the age of 16.
We offer a Physio Clinic run by chartered physiotherapists located at both the senior and prep school. Services provided include assessment, rehabilitation, injury prevention, concussion assessment/management and pitchside medical care.
PSHEE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education)
At Millfield, we strive not only to give our pupils an academic education but to give them an all-round education, and importantly prepare them for the outside world after they leave Millfield and the responsibilities and realities of adult life.
Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHEE) is a compulsory, non-examined programme for all pupils which is taught by group tutors once a week. PSHEE aims to give pupils the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead happy, healthy, confident and independent lives.
PSHEE contributes to personal development by helping pupils to build their personal identities, confidence and self-esteem, make career choices and understand what influences their decisions. Developing self-understanding, empathy and the ability to work with others will help our young people to enjoy healthy and productive relationships in all aspects of their lives.
The benefits to pupils of such an approach are numerous as they learn to manage many of the most critical opportunities, challenges and responsibilities they will face growing up. It also helps them to connect and apply the knowledge and understanding they learn in all subjects to practical, real-life situations while helps them to feel safe and secure enough to fulfil their academic potential. Wellbeing at Millfield
Sex Education is part of the PSHEE programme but is taught separately in single sex house groups by a dedicated team of tutors. We aim to encourage pupils to make informed choices, foster positive attitudes and feelings and develop assertiveness skills to resist unhelpful pressure; thus enabling pupils to take appropriate decisions that help to ensure a healthy lifestyle.
Religion & Spiritual Life
“Through year assemblies, Christian Crispies and CY (Millfield Activity Programme clubs) and Soul Café (a lunchtime slot with visiting speakers), theological reflection is shared with a much wider constituency than those who simply ‘come to Chapel’. The aim is to sow the seeds of tolerance, patience and generosity and for these and other key virtues to be carried to the four corners of the campus.” Reverend Philip Harbridge, School Chaplain.
Spiritual and Moral Development in the Millfield Community
Millfield believes that true education must be concerned with spiritual and moral development. All pupils of the school, irrespective of their religion, are encouraged to explore and develop their own faith, and learn from that of others, in an atmosphere of generosity and tolerance. This finds its fullest expression in our delightful Start of Year Service, an energetic and playful act of worship in the magnificent setting of Wells Cathedral.
Worship – provision for Christians and those of other faiths
The chaplain is responsible for the ongoing liturgical and spiritual life of the community. Although this doesn’t simply mean running services, the rhythm of regular worship is tremendously important to those who are committed. (There are three services each week in the chapel and a Choral Eucharist each term in Wells Cathedral). What really counts are efforts at nurturing these services as a space for spiritual, social and moral development. Short addresses have a key role in this respect – the issues tackled are almost always aimed at a broad audience and have general appeal, so that those of any religion or those of none are equally at home.
The school chapel is dedicated for use as a place of worship for all faiths. So, in addition to Christian services, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists have the opportunity to meet and contacts with local leaders of these other faiths are nurtured with a view to mutual visits. Roman Catholic pupils attend Mass in Glastonbury and can be confirmed every other year. An Anglican Confirmation course runs every twelve months.
Reflecting the open ethos of the school chapel, the chaplain is available for all members of the school, irrespective of faith. At various points in the day, pupils and staff may drop into the office under the chapel or into the chaplaincy house across from the school gates. Some come by arrangement, others on the off-chance, most because they need someone to listen to them and advise. Whilst the conversation might focus on faith and spirituality, more often than not it will feature characteristic Millfield angst about love, life and feelings of inadequacy in the midst of so much excellence.
Chapel – a brief history
The chapel chalet is, in fact, the oldest building on the Millfield site. It was built in 1882, a couple of years before Millfield House. The Clark family, of Clarks’ Shoes’ fame, owned the land. This plot was the highest point on the family estate, and had apparently been the site of a windmill in former years - hence the name ‘Millfield’. In the latter years of the 19th Century, a daughter (Alice) of the Clark family seems to have contracted tuberculosis. A common practice at the time for wealthy people was to send family members infected to Switzerland to live in a mountain chalet, where the robust winds were reputed to have healing properties. It seems that the family decided to build a Swiss-style chalet on the highest point on their own land where their daughter could be cared for, lying on the open air upstairs balcony area facing the prevailing westerly winds. The indoor area downstairs and above was allotted to those caring for her, where they could live and cook her meals. The treatment appears to have been effective and the girl recovered. The chalet was a place of care and cure — a marvellous precursor of its later life as a chaplaincy centre!