Our New Food Room
Formal opening of new classroom
After school on Monday 20 January 2020 we welcomed pupils, parents, staff and other invited guests from the school’s and our local community to the formal opening of our fantastic new Masterchef-style Food Preparation and Nutrition classroom.
During the event a group of Year 10 pupils spoilt us with their excellent bakes. We were able to sample sweet and savoury topped blinis, different breads and chocolate dipped shortbread!
Impressively two Year 9 pupils, Leon and Deaken, who won the 2019 Midcounties ‘Create & Cook Competition’ last year, and whose prize winnings enabled us to purchase some of the new equipment, treated us to a live demonstration in which they showcased their culinary skills. Working together and completely unperturbed by the audience, they prepared two courses, including handmade ravioli from scratch and delicious brownies. The cooking station at the front of the classroom makes it easier to see demonstrations and an overhead camera projecting live onto the board behind the cook(s) adds another dimension.
Following the pupils’ demonstration, celebrity baker, Tom Herbert (Hobbs House Bakery) from The Long Table in Brimscombe, treated us to another superb demonstration. While cooking in the new classroom, Tom introduced us to his social enterprise and provided an inspiring commentary about how he makes the most out of food waste and rare ingredients. He quickly rustled up a truly delicious golden beetroot hummus and moreish sourdough flatbreads. Thank you Tom!
This refurbishment of one of our Design workshops into a new modern kitchen finally brings all of our Design subjects together. This has been an ambition for many years as our original Food and Textiles classrooms were situated in an area behind Cirencester College that was once the Girls’ Secondary School! The development reflects The Corinium Education Trust’s commitment to improving our schools’ learning environments.
In contrast to our previous classroom, this new space is fully fitted with extensive work surfaces, smart built-in ovens and induction hobs. We are currently in the process of re-equipping it as the original 1960s’ Prestige utensils our pupils were still using were definitely showing signs of wear and tear!
We have been able to achieve this transformation as a result of our successful application for grant funding. I am immensely grateful to the Trustees of The Savoy Education Trust in London and The Powell’s Education Foundation in Cirencester for their generosity. This new classroom will definitely inspire a new generation of young chefs and we expect to see more choosing to pursue careers in hospitality and catering.
Chiquita Henson, Headteacher
‘Our Year 10 pupils had been very busy preparing food for the evening. It was all beautifully presented. They were buzzing with excitement as our first guests arrived. Our new classroom looked amazing and the smell of freshly baked bread was inviting. Our pupils, who had volunteered to help out and serve food as our guests arrived, were brilliant. They all spoke about their experiences of learning how to cook with great enthusiasm.’ Annemarie Evans, Head of Design
'The new Food Preparation and Nutrition room is really impressive – such an inspiring space for the budding chefs who welcomed us with canapés at the official opening on Monday afternoon. It was great to see Leon and Deaken from Year 9 giving demos alongside the guest chef Tom Herbert. Having worked so hard in the Create & Cook Competition and then becoming Young Pea Chef of the Year, it was amazing to see Leon in his element in such a professional kitchen. The pupils are obviously loving their new state-of-the-art classroom.' Parent and member of Local Governing Body
‘I just wanted to say thank you very much as I do really appreciate the new room. It really is lovely to be in the heart of the school and with the rest of the Faculty. It has made a real difference.’ Miss Dearing, Food Preparation and Nutrition teacher
'It was a great experience to cook in front of a big group of people. I would not have been able to do it without the amazing new room; it is awesome and the layout and equipment work so well.' Leon, Year 9
‘Many thanks for your hospitality at Deer Park; I was most impressed by your new food preparation and nutrition classroom and the equipment which has been provided; I have no doubt that it will be an excellent teaching facility.’ Richard Mullings, Clerk to The Powells Education Foundation and Member of The Corinium Education Trust
Miss Dearing, our Food Preparation and Nutrition teacher, writes:
The afternoon was delightful. The cooking demonstrations by Leon and Deaken were great and it was lovely to see the confidence they had when making their winning dishes from the competitions last year - I think the boys enjoyed cooking to a live audience!
Having Tom Herbert in was a real treat for both adults and children alike. We were lucky enough to sample a very tasty hummus, he educated the audience about making homemade cheese and giving lots of bread making tips whilst making flatbreads, creating a real buzz.
I was very proud of my Year 10 volunteers who also showcased their culinary skills on the night. They too had made lovely tear-and-share style breads with dips, blinis with a variety of toppings and homemade sausage rolls and chocolate covered shortbread.
Comments from pupils in all years who have been using the new classroom have been very positive. They love the use of orange on the walls and the feeling of light and open space. They have also commented on how good it is to have new ovens that work properly!
"The room is more spacious, with good layout. The use of different chopping boards for different foods is a good idea. It is a fantastic room to be in." "The cooking room is great and very organised. Everything's very new and works amazingly." "I really like the new room because it it really colourful and full of new equipment." "It's amazing and we finally all have working ovens!"
A recent Year 7 Design class: