At the start of the 2019 term Rockley Education introduced the Breakfast Club. BTEC and sixth form students studying at Rockley Point can get a breakfast from the Rockley Beach Café, Harbours Edge for only 20p.
For half an hour from 8:30 am every weekday the bespoke offering is dedicated to students who need it most. It includes two pieces of toast and tea or coffee with jam or peanut butter. The club gets 10 students each morning and has become increasingly popular.
Not only does it offer many with some much needed sustenance before they start classes it is another opportunity to meet with friends, fellow students and the supportive café team. It is also helping them to become more organised, arriving early and enjoying the beach atmosphere.
A recent article by ScienceDaily reported that students who rarely ate breakfast on schools days achieved lower GCSE grades than those who ate breakfast frequently, according to recent research from the University of Leeds*.
Researchers, from the University of Leeds, have for the first time demonstrated a link between eating breakfast and GCSE performance for secondary school students in the UK*.
Adding together all a student's exam results, they found that students who said they rarely ate breakfast achieved nearly two grades lower than those who rarely missed their morning meal.
Lead researcher Dr Katie Adolphus, from the University of Leeds’s School of Psychology, said: "Our study suggests that secondary school students are at a disadvantage if they are not getting a morning meal to fuel their brains for the start of the school day. Previously we have shown that eating breakfast has a positive impact on children's cognition.
"This research suggests that poor nutrition is associated with worse results at school."
The researchers surveyed 294 students from schools and colleges in West Yorkshire in 2011 and found that 29% rarely or never ate breakfast on school days, whilst 18% ate breakfast occasionally, and 53% frequently. Their figures are similar to the latest national data for England in 2019, which found that more than 16% of secondary school children miss breakfast.
GCSE grades were converted to point scores using the Department for Education's 2012 system, where A* = 58, A = 52, B = 46, and so on. Adding up students' scores across all subjects gave students an aggregated score.
Those who rarely ate breakfast scored on average 10.25 points lower than those who frequently ate breakfast, a difference of nearly two grades, after accounting for other important factors including socio-economic status, ethnicity, age, sex and BMI.
Looking at performance for each individual GCSE, they found that students who rarely ate breakfast scored on average 1.20 points lower than those who frequently ate breakfast, after accounting for other factors. Each grade equates to six points, so the difference accounted for a drop of a fifth of a grade for every GCSE an individual achieved.