RP during COVID-19: Catering adjusts to ‘new normal’
November 5, 2020

Rydal Penrhos’ exemplary plans regarding the current COVID-19 restrictions are further reflected by the changes in catering methods.

The school has been at the forefront of precautions during the coronavirus pandemic, ensuring each Rydal Penrhos pupil continues to receive an exceptional education and extra-curricular opportunities thanks to the sterling effort and dedication of both teaching and support staff.

This is also evident during mealtimes, with catering providers Holroyd Howe working closely with the school’s management team to provide a balanced diet that enables learning to thrive with the same food standards that pupils and staff were provided with prior to social distancing restrictions.

The feedback from pupils about how much they love the food is echoed by all the staff, it is more like dining in a great restaurant than the school dinners you imagine from days gone by.

Catering manager Ian Caddick, said: “We have maintained the same quality of menu we had before lockdown.

“There are still four choices of hot main food available along with a varied selection of sandwiches. We have had to take away the self-service salad bar which was a great hit with the pupils but will reinstall when the pandemic subsides.

“We are always striving to help feed the children with nutrient-enriched food and always endeavour to bring the food forum choices of the children into are termly menus.”

This high standard of provision hasn’t been compromised by recent restrictions regarding social distancing, although it has forced the catering to undergo some major changes to how they operate on a day-to-day basis.

“Holroyd Howe as a company has put together an in-depth reopening document that includes updated laws regarding social distancing, and track and trace mitigation,” added Mr Caddick.

“The biggest challenge is to educate all team members on the new COVID rules and safe distance measures not just for the safety of the team but also the pupils.

“The dining room has been modified to allow a one-way system separating all children by two meters, and the tables are separated into individual bubbles to maintain social distancing.

“Time frames for dinner have also changed with lunch starting at the earlier time of 12pm to help in keeping the dining room COVID secure.

“We have hand sanitiser at three points of the dining room along with notification regarding the procedures to follow and the risks of COVID. The catering team are always two meters apart and follow the stringent policies of the company and Rydal Penrhos.”

The tremendous effort from staff has been another prominent feature of the school’s approach throughout COVID-19, both during the first lockdown period, during the summer months and throughout the current academic year. The school team has done everything it can to maintain “normal” continuous provision of education and wellbeing.

This has been coupled with a strong community effort from Rydal Penrhos, which saw the school produce thousands of PPE masks, open its boarding accommodation and keyworker childcare to the wider region and

Mr Caddick, said: “The staff have taken to all the new challenges in their stride. They have been a credit to Rydal Penrhos and Holroyd Howe and I could not have achieved it without them.”

“School lunches” we love them.


Rydal Penrhos is now able to offer private tours to prospective pupils and their families.

For more information email admissions@rydalpenrhos.com or book online at https://rydal.wpengine.com/open-days-visits.