Primary school children benefit from kitchen facility

PUPILS at Dunmow Primary School are getting a head start in the culinary world thanks to an �8000 kitchen installed in their busy building.

Due to fundraising efforts of parents, teachers and children the school has its own purpose-built facility that allows students of all ages to learn about cooking – and the many things that surround it.

Cookery teacher and friends of Dunmow primary school chairman Mel Casey said that she is delighted to be involved in what has been a “school-wide project”.

Speaking in class as pupils made orange drizzle cakes, she added: “It really is a great facility and everyone is very excited about using it.

“Pupils of all ages take part in classes and the kitchen is being used literally every hour of the day, even during after school classes five days a week.

“The children get so much out of it because all the classes are linked-in with their education elsewhere.”

Pupils in all years up to the age of 11 have had their cookery learning connected with a host of subjects including;

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Fair trade – students cook using only fair trade products and learn about where they come from.

World War two – students are given ‘rations’ to cook with including powdered milk to demonstrate how tough times were in the early 40s

Themed country – students pick up recipes and ingredients from place like Mexico, or China and make tasty meals.

Mrs Casey added: “Everything ties in and the children learn a host of life skills to use later on.

“They learn maths, weights, adding, subtracting, as well as practical skills such as using knifes and cleanliness. By the time pupils leave the school in their last year we hope that all of them will be able to cook a hot meal by themselves.”

The kitchen facility was put together by caretaker Martin Webberley, project managed by learning support assistant Melanie O’Rourke and was the brainchild of Mrs Casey.

The PTA managed to raise �7500 towards the cost and that was topped up with a �500 grant from the Dunmow Round Table.

The facility was completed in June and came into use for the children at the start of this school year. So far hundreds of children have benefitted.

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