Fuelling Inquisitive Minds

Pupils and staff eating together in the Dining Hall is one of the key features of life at Chigwell School, and it is true to say that the food here is exceptional.

Each day there is a rich variety on offer, from home-made soups and freshly-baked bread to delicious curries, mouthwatering pastries and always a large selection of fresh fruit and salads. Freshly prepared in our own kitchens, the food here is a major highlight of school life.

Healthy Food, Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies

At Chigwell the preparation and enjoyment of food are seen as a core element of the care for pupils and staff.

Healthy food is key to a healthy mind, of course, but equally important is the act of ‘breaking bread together’ – bringing pupils and school staff together where everyone can meet, share their day and talk about their experiences.

Our nutritionally balanced menus and food reflect the Food Standard Agency’s Eatwell Guide.

Every Thursday, our whole family has breakfast here – we love it.

Good Schools Guide


Our catering team is part of the Chartwells Independent family, a leading provider of catering and support services to schools, colleges and universities in the UK. Chartwell's aims to support the highest quality education with the highest quality food, enhancing the whole learning process through championing the all-important role of nutrition and healthy eating in developing both body and mind.

We have the freedom to create menus that are just right for varied tastes and ages and we recognise how important it is to create interesting, tasty and healthy menus.

The chocolate fountain at Open Day convinced the children it was the place to be at 7 years old and the catering has continued to be outstanding!

Year 12 Parent (2019)

Diverse Variety

In total, eight chefs take great pride in the food they create, making sure that every day there is an enormous choice of different foods to serve every dietary requirement.

Every menu is planned three weeks in advance and on a three-week cycle, with the catering team reviewing all menus in response to seasons, pupil feedback and national themed events.

Nutrition for Teaching & Learning

Of course, central to the task of the catering team is ensuring that each meal is nutritious, high-quality and part of a healthy, balanced diet. The team is determined that each meal should encourage a successful learning environment.



"We have the opportunity to enhance the wellbeing of millions and deliver services to make everyone’s day that little bit brighter. And we are committed to doing all of this responsibly. Nurturing our environment, delivering the highest levels of safety, taking an active role in creating healthier food for healthier lives and ensuring we manage essential resources carefully, source sustainably and ruthlessly reduce waste." - Chartwells

School Allotment

Alongside the School Garden Club, members of Chartwells take part and support the teachers and pupils to maintain a variety of fruit, vegetables and herbs that are grown on site and used in the dishes the pupils and teachers enjoy.

A Great Task, Superbly Managed

In a school the size of Chigwell, managing the feeding of so many pupils, teachers and school staff is no mean feat. It is the responsibility of our 25-strong catering team to make sure everyone receive a delicious and balanced meal.

Over a thousand meals are served each day (breakfast, lunch and supper).

The team is highly experienced in predicting customer flow, event numbers, boarder volumes, weekend numbers and match visitors so that, whatever the occasion, the right amount of food is available at all times.


Individual events are also catered for. These include the preparations of specialist sports menus on days where sports activity is at its highest, themed dinners and the organisation and support of major events such as Chigwell School Summer ball Leavers’ Ball and Open Day.

"For more than a quarter of a century, Chartwells has focused on helping young people build strong bodies, sharp minds and to lead long, healthy lives."


Parents are very welcome to join their children for breakfast at the School, which is available each morning from 7.30am – 8.00am. Breakfast options include a hearty full English to healthy options, such as fresh smoothies, yogurt bar, fruit salad and weekly specials such as Eggs Benedict and Omelettes. This is an additional offering at subsidised prices and pupils pay cash for their breakfast.

Lunch Service

We are delighted that we have the freedom to create menus that are just right for varied tastes and ages and we recognise how important it is to create interesting, tasty and healthy menus throughout the School year. Our nutritionally balanced menus and food reflect the Food Standard Agency’s Eatwell Guide.

Salad Bar

One of the most popular stations, the salad bar offers a variety of colourful, fresh, vibrant salads with grains, seasonal vegetables, and dressings.

Fruit Bar

A self-service station where we encourage students to eat one of their ‘five-a-day’. Cut fresh fruit and whole fruit is always available.

Soup Station

Two homemade soups are served daily using fresh ingredients served with home-made croutons and freshly baked breads.

The Sixth Form Centre

Pupils can buy a variety of snacks and drinks, including Illy coffee brand. The coffee shop is open to sixth formers and staff every day.