Visiting the Vazovova Elementary School in Bratislava 

In October 2023, all SchoolFood4Change project partners met in the City of Vienna (Austria) on the occasion of the second major in-person project meeting. The last item on the meeting agenda was a very special field trip: a visit to the Vazovova Elementary School in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia that can be reached from Vienna by boat. The SchoolFood4Change school had invited project partners to show them how the Whole School Food Approach (WSFA) activities are implemented in practice.  

Let us tell you how the visit went!

The guests were warmly welcomed with bread and salt, a traditional welcome in Slovakia and a sign of hospitality. During the whole day an abundance of food was served, so that guests could enjoy traditional Slovakian cuisine and its specialities.  

No site visit without speeches and briefings for the participants! The opening speeches were held by Mgr. Art. Veronika Gubkova from the office of the Vice-Mayor for the Old Town, Bratislava and the headmistress of the Vazovova elementary school Mgr. Darina Matejová. In keeping with the location of the site-visit, the participants then had the opportunity to listen to experts talk about the link between diet, nutrition and education. The director of Skutočne zdravá škola (English: “ A really healthy school”), Eva Blaho shared information about the food system in Slovakia and Mgr. Kristína Tatay Gernátová, the school coordinator, shared her experience with school activities and school-wide approach to nutrition. 


The SchoolFood4Change delegation, coming from around 15 different cities and organisations across Europe, visiting the school in October 2023.


Experiencing school life at first hand

Before lunch, the SchoolFood4Change consortium members had the chance to experience everyday school life up close, through a guided tour: On their timetable, they had the subject “I know what I`m eating”, in which students learn about healthy eating. On the day of the visit of the ‘special guests’, they looked at the amount of sugar in various drinks. It was great to see that the pupils were fully enthusiastic about the topic! Thank you for letting us get a taste of this school subject!

Next on the schedule – a visit to the school garden, a place where pupils learn about ecology, biology and growing food. The school created a large booklet with recipes that the pupils knew using ingredients from the school garden. The breakout room, a multi-sensory centre for pupils, was presented as a space to relax and promote overall wellbeing of the students.

And finally, to round off our visit, pupils from the after-school cooking class proudly showed off what they had prepared. Cheese made from scratch and a delicious dessert of curd cheese, cookies and raspberry mousse. The course was offered by groups of 20 students. Pupils can register for this cooking class voluntarily and then take part twice a month. The interest in the course was so great that unfortunately not all pupils got a spot.

The programme culminated in a joint school lunch where the guests had the opportunity to experience a typical Slovak school lunch menu. During lunch, discussion about the shared experience echoed from the dining room.

The visit to Vazovova primary school showed how schools are actively contributing to nutrition education and awareness raising, and how innovative approaches in nutrition can lead to better health and well-being of students. Thank you Vazovova Elementary School for giving us a glimpse into your school life! 

(Photos taken by: Ludmila Azarova)