Children with certificates

Bake off Final 2019 - held at West Somerset College Minehead

Judges came from Brook Foods, Butlins, Somerset West and Taunton Council, Job Centre Plus

The event was sponsored by West Coast 360, hosted by West Somerset College with lunch provided by their hospitality students

Students participating in the final commented:

“We’ve learnt some baking skills like how to separate egg whites, weighing stuff and making the mixtures. We’ve also learnt to work together better as a team and how to approach designing something creative.”

“I liked the decorating - it was really fun to do something creative.”

“We learnt how to make hard-beaten eggs with the professional chefs -  having them help us has given us better skills and more confidence.”

“It was interesting to learn about being a chef, how they get to do this every day. It sounds fun and also like hard work!”

“We forgot to sieve our flour and had a few bumps on the road, but it all came together in the end. We surprised ourselves!”

Debbie Barsby, Department for Work and Pensions “I was surprised how well the students learned to communicate with each other; they’re really supportive of each other and they listened really carefully to the chefs. I’ve really enjoyed how engaged the students are. We’ve had the chance to talk to them about the opportunities available in the hospitality industry and by meeting us and working with us they’ve learned that professionals are approachable.

The head teacher came to the masterclass and the final, which demonstrates to the students that this is an activity that has value for their learning and growth. It’s great that schools see the value in it too and allow their pupils off lessons so they can have the chance to come and experience something like this.

Werner Hartholt, Head Development Chef, Butlins: "My plan is to roll-out a similar programme nationally. We want to be able to plant the seed that hospitality careers are a great option for lots of people and year 7 and 8 students are the perfect age for this.

Emily Swaby-Halls, Job Centre Plus “The Bake-Off gives an opportunity for students to showcase their skills. Students that are normally quite quiet in their Food Tech classes stood out when it came to the competition. 

We also used the opportunity to look at different careers and apprenticeships in the food and drink industry. I wanted to help students see that there are jobs they already know about, like a chef, and also lots of jobs they might not have thought about, from product development to marketing. I also related this across the curriculum; for example for students who like maths there are jobs in budgeting, or if they are interested in geography there are jobs in sourcing ingredients.

Sarah Mills, Food Technology Teacher: "All the students that took part have loved it, especially the ones that made it to the masterclass and final. It’s given them more self-confidence. Some of the finalists already loved food technology but some of them were quite disengaged in classes and it’s given them a passion for the subject.” 

Dan Hartley, Head Teacher Danesfield Middle School “It’s been a really valuable experience for the students, particularly in developing their independence as they had to take responsibility for weighing all their ingredients and bringing in their own decorations. The students have all really enjoyed it and it’s been amazing for them to learn from professionals.” 

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