Lunchtimes are so important for pupils – not only to ensure they benefit from eating a nutritious and fulfilling meal, but also to provide them with an opportunity to learn vital skills in communication, manners and socialising. Schools can approach these requirements in several ways, from introducing restaurant-style dining halls to providing on-trend menus that everyone will love. This month, we have spoken to several industry experts to find out more about how schools can improve the lunchtime experience. On page 24, we have an interview with Professor Wendy Wills and Paul Aagaard, who spoke to us about the impact of the school dining room and how this should be a priority and not an afterthought. Then, on page 18, Gemma Bradish has looked at some creative Italian recipe ideas, and shared her advice on what trends should be considered to make sure there is a vibrant and exciting menu on offer. When it comes to making lunchtimes that extra bit special, one of the most heart-warming ideas I have heard about is a project between Shephalbury Park Primary School in Hertfordshire and Roebuck Nursing Home. The project brings pupils and residents together at lunchtime, and it’s fair to say the programme has been a huge success so far. I spoke to headteacher Ben Conway to find out more about this wonderful project and how he plans to expand the idea even further (see page 43 for the full story). The debate about the importance of food first thing in the morning is another topic that is being widely discussed in the industry. Being well fed throughout the whole school day has a huge impact on pupil behaviour and their learning abilities; however, despite this important fact, thousands of children are going hungry every morning. We interviewed Carmel McConnell MBE, founder of Magic Breakfast, to find out more about this important topic and discuss the work her charity carries out to help try and resolve this problem (see page 13 for the full interview).