A SCHOOL is putting the snap, crackle and pop back into mornings thanks to an initiative which helps fuel pupils’ learning with a healthy breakfast.

Wyvern Academy, Darlington, has officially launched its new Magic Breakfast Club, part of the National Schools Breakfast Programme, becoming the first secondary school in the North-East to sign up to the project.

The scheme, funded through the Government sugar tax and led by academy family welfare and attendance champion Zoe Grant, aims to improve pupils’ concentration, behaviour and attainment.

“Research by the Education Empowerment Foundation has shown that a high proportion of pupils were coming into school without eating a healthy breakfast,” said Ms Grant.

“We contacted Magic Breakfast, which delivers the programme in partnership with Family Action, and were given a £500 starter grant to buy a new hot water boiler and advertise the project throughout the school, alongside receiving a new freezer, purchased through PTA funds.

“The pupils are already enjoying the scheme. They come into school, meet their friends, make new friendship groups and have a good healthy breakfast which really sets them up for the day.”

The breakfast club currently attracts more than 50 pupils each morning, from 8am until 8.40am, and pupils can choose from bagels or toast, cereal and a cup of tea for 20p per day or free for pupil premium children.

The National Schools Breakfast Programme is also conducting a survey of pupils, parents, carers and staff to develop a strategy to improve breakfast club attendance.

Wyvern Academy chair of governors Simon Loveridge, who performed the official ribbon cutting ceremony, said: “This is a great initiative and goes back to the good old fashioned values of breakfast being the most important meal of the day.

“It’s about providing pupils with levels of energy through a healthy, low-sugar start to the day and teaching them about nutrition – something reiterated by our academy food tech and PHSE classes and healthy school meal options – which will set them on the right nutritional path for the rest of their lives.”

Pupil Carmen Geldrad, 13, of Darlington, added: “I’ve been coming to the breakfast club since it opened and it’s really good.

"I didn’t really eat breakfast before and would sometimes feel hungry during the morning. Now I have a bagel and a cup of tea before school and I’ve already noticed the difference as I’m able to concentrate much more in lessons.”