Pancake Day may already be a thing of the past but the cooking has not stopped at Wheatfield Primary School in Winnersh, where lessons in food preparation are now a regular fixture on the timetable for pupils.
With the assistance of parent helpers, children in Year One have been split into two groups and every other week they take it in turn to have time in the kitchen, mastering basic cooking skills and also studying related topics such as food hygiene and safety – whilst also producing food which is then eaten by their fellow pupils.
“For years, passing on knowledge of how to cook and prepare food was taken for granted in families, but it seems to have fallen out of fashion a bit recently, so it’s wonderful for us to have the opportunity to teach the children such a useful skill, and for them to take that knowledge home,” said Wheatfield’s assistant head Tamara Brown.
“The school applied to be part of the Tesco Eat Happy project, as a result of which we get sent recipe books and vouchers for ingredients,” she added. “We then use these for an activity which is fun, informative and teaches them the social skill of working together – and they have something to show at the end of it!”
Wheatfield, which opened its doors in September 2014, is partnered with fellow local primary Windmill. Both schools are part of the GLF schools group, a rapidly-expanding Surrey-based multi-academy trust which now runs more than a dozen schools across Surrey, Middlesex, Berkshire and Oxfordshire, based on a system of collaborative learning.
“It’s still the early days of the project but it’s something that’s already proved to be hugely popular with both children and their families,” added Mrs Brown. “The involvement of parent helpers is hugely important too, and adds to the feeling of enjoyment for the children, so we hope it’s a scheme which will grow as time passes, but so far, it seems to be a hugely popular addition to school life.”
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