A magic start to the day for Camden pupils

Children at Camden primary schools are tucking into a healthy breakfast each day – thanks to a partnership with the national charity Magic Breakfast.

Of the borough’s 43 primary schools, 37 have breakfast clubs – 17 of which are supported by Magic Breakfast.

The charity provides free, healthy food and fruit juice for schools where more than 35% of pupils are eligible for free school meals. The schools can order as many bagels and as much cereal and porridge as they need so all pupils start their day with a healthy meal and can make the most of classes.

Headteachers say that eating a healthy ‘magic’ breakfast helps to improve pupils’ concentration, behaviour, attendance, punctuality and educational attainment.

A Magic Breakfast school leader works with each school to develop their breakfast club, offered at minimal or no cost to parents.

Camden schools offer healthy Magic Breakfast food to 1,051 children - a rise of 712 children since the charity started in the borough. More breakfast clubs are due to open and schools which want to set one up are encouraged to contact the charity. The Council’s aim is for all Camden schools to have a breakfast club.

Schools with under 35% of pupils eligible for free school meals can also contact the charity to ask for their support and free training for breakfast club staff, as well as a free cross-age reading scheme, offered as part of the Magic Breakfast scheme with books donated by Give a Book Charity.

Tracy Storey, co-ordinator for Gospel Oak Primary School’s Magic Breakfast club, said: “We started two years ago and now have 45 to 50 children registered, with 20 to 45 kids coming through at any one time.

“There’s a very nice atmosphere – the children all know each other and it’s great to see different year groups mixing. They can also read, draw and play here so it’s very relaxed. The parents know their children are being well looked-after and are going to get a good breakfast. Since the breakfast club began, the children are coming in on time, eating well and going to class happy – and that’s what we aimed for.”

Gospel Oak pupil Frankie, aged 10, said: “I like it that there are other kids here, there are loads of things to do and you can choose different things to eat each time.”

Parent Annie Scott-Horne said: “I work full-time so it’s a lifeline for me because I don’t get very much time. The staff are all brilliant - they’re all really caring and they make sure the children have had their breakfast. The children like the range of breakfasts that they get. They’re allowed to choose, which I think is really important.”

Councillor Sally Gimson, Camden’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “It was really lovely seeing so many children at Gospel Oak Primary School having a healthy breakfast. I am very pleased it is happening here and I hope more of our primary schools will take advantage of this fantastic scheme.”

Councillor Gimson recently visited the Gospel Oak Magic Breakfast Club along with Councillor Angela Mason CBE, Camden’s Cabinet Member for Children.

Find out more

To help support our aim for all primary schools in Camden to have breakfast provision and ensure no children are too hungry to learn, schools are encouraged to contact Magic Breakfast to become part of this project: magicbreakfast.com.