Apprentice Chefs in Action!
During the month of January, members of the FM Team visited Bonhill Primary School in West Dumbarton to meet the catering team and Marie Wilson, an inspirational Head teacher. The purpose was to look at the work they have been doing on food education, work experience and health and wellbeing. The initiative is linked to the objectives of Curriculum for Excellence in Education.
The Facilities Management Team were so impressed with the enthusiasm, team work and most importantly, the pupils at the school, that a similar programme has been designed for Stirling schools. This involves working closely with schools, offering a five week ‘Work Experience’ opportunity for Primary 7 pupils. This project connects to food, health and wellbeing, and covers a number of topics including, practical cookery, food hygiene, food provenance (geography) weights and measures (mathematics), theme days (languages) and food culture (religious and cultural studies).
P7 Apprentice chefs Harry and Keira are pictured in action on their first week in training in the Dunblane Primary School kitchen.
The Chefs Apprentice Programme was set up by the school and the catering service to help pupils learn about the world of work and take on responsibilities in a real life setting, develop confidence and independence and to bring the curriculum alive.
Harry and Keira spent two days working alongside the catering staff completing a variety of tasks and learning about Food Hygiene, preparation, Kitchen Safety, Food storage and cleaning. At the end of each day they completed their log books recording their experience.
Sarah Starrs, deputy head teacher at Dunblane Primary School, said:
“The apprenticeship is a real opportunity for kids to put into practice what they learn in class, fitting perfectly with the curriculum.
"The project only works because of the huge support and commitment of catering staff, taking two children into the kitchen every week, Catering staff recognize that the children are after all a great help to them and it opens the children's eyes of what is expected when working with food, and in the workplace in general."
Both the pupils and the catering team found it a very worthwhile experience.
“I thought being in the classroom was hard work but the cooks work really hard all day…we didn’t realise how fresh it is – it’s not all out of a packet," Keria said of her experience in the kitchen.
Harry was equally as surprised, "I never knew the cooks worked so hard for us all day – it takes a lot of energy! The thing I enjoyed the most was using my maths skills: taking stock, ordering and weighing oh and I had to keep an eye on the fridge temperature."