Primary school pupils have the recipe for learning success

Published: Friday 21st November 2014 by Tom Drinkall

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Children at Ings Primary School are finding the recipe for success when it comes to learning in a hands-on manner – opening a new cookery room where they will learn about preparing and eating healthy meals.

The east Hull school, which has 282 pupils and is celebrating its 50th year, supports the Open Futures initiative, a curriculum development programme which aims to link learning closely with real life through hands-on projects, entitled  Ask It, Grow It, Cook It and Film It.

Developed to help children discover and develop practical skills, personal interests and values, which will contribute to their education and help enhance their adult lives, the scheme has seen the school invest £5,000 into creating the new cookery room, with a further £5,000 in donations from local companies ensuring it has come to fruition.

And head-teacher Jonathan Roe is confident the school’s approach is reaping rewards.

“We place a big emphasis in the school on making learning a hands-on experience. Learning should not be a second hand experience, it works much better as an active, inclusive experience, and that is particularly the case with children,” he said.

“We have seen our children making films around the subjects and topics they are learning, they have been able to grow products in class as part of Grow It, and now they will be making meals and learning all about healthy eating.

“Teaching is all about inspiring you people, and that is difficult to do if you are simply dictating something to children. They need to be involved in the process, and when I walk around our school and see classes of kids getting stuck in to activities, learning often without really realising, it is really pleasing to see.”

Cookery sessions will now be held for pupils both during the day and after school. They will be overseen by teaching assistant Lyn Whitford, who has been crowned the school’s ‘Cook-It Champion’, and she is confident the new facilities and equipment will help further engage youngsters in learning.

“This project is going to teach an important life skill to our children, with healthy eating a key focus too. It will help their maths, English and science across the curriculum. Most children learn better doing something practical, and ultimately they understand it better.” she said.

“Cooking also fits in perfectly with many parts of the curriculum. Weighing and measuring brings in maths, using instructions and verbs are part of English, and changing state, such as frying an egg, is science.

“It will also help the children to improve their social skills as they will work together in teams.

The school has been delighted with support from businesses in the city, with the likes of the Neil Hudgell Solicitors Trust, KC, Asda and T3 Pro offering their support, through cash and support in kind, to ensure the kitchen boasts new ovens, hobs and utensils to enable up to 12 youngsters to prepare their culinary delights during each session.

A donation of £1,000 from Neil Hudgell Solicitors Trust, which provides small grants to support projects which have a positive impact in their community, helped stock the kitchen with all the equipment needed, and Jo Hudgell, chair of the Trust, said it was a project she had been delighted to support.

“We have been delighted to support this project as it is vital that children grow up with a sound knowledge of healthy eating, and an understanding of hygienic food preparation,” she said.

“This cookery room will ensure pupils at Ings Primary School have this, whilst also helping them in many areas of their day-to-day learning. We are sure this project will benefit youngsters who attend the school for many years to come.”

KC donated £500 towards the purchase of cookery kits and Brendon Smurthwaite, Community Coordinator, added: “The school applied for one of our community grants and we were more than happy to help as the after-school cookery club is a great initiative.

“As well as helping children understand the importance of a balanced diet, it’s also a creative and practical way for them to learn how to prepare their own healthy meals.”

Published: Friday 21st November 2014 by Tom Drinkall

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