The Great Croft Cook-Off

How do you inspire 84 children aged between 7 and 11? You introduce a cookery contest! When Mrs Edwards, Catering Manager, approached me with an idea inspired by the Great British Bake-off, little did either of us realise just how excited the children would be. To have 84 entrants into a baking contest was far beyond our wildest dreams!

The contest is for the children to bake biscuits or a cake in 1 hour without adult input. They are then judged on appearance, taste, technical difficulty and most importantly of all, how well they have tidied up!

We are currently working our way through the heats with the finals scheduled for later in the Summer Term. To see the sheer enjoyment on the children's faces as they embark on their creations is something to behold. From the very youngest pupils, they have worked with great determination and focus, wrestling with their ingredients in an attempt to create their masterpiece.

The quality of all of the entrants has been incredible. From chocolate creations to Victoria Sponges, we have seen it all, and tasted them too! Whoever the eventual winner is, one thing is for certain, every child that entered had an amazing time and enjoyed every minute of it!

Enjoyment is a key aspect we at The Croft understand helps children to learn. Extra-curricular activities such as The Great Croft Cook-off also offer opportunities for enrichment, creativity and competition in addition to subliminal subject-related disciplines such as Maths and Science, ie weighing and proportions of ingredients, and their effects when combined.

We firmly believe our diverse extra-curricular clubs, opportunities for travel to France and skiing in Italy, and self-development at our residential courses nurture and develop individuals to become fully-rounded lifelong learners, as they aspire, achieve and excel in all that they do.


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As we enter a New Year, much conversation centres around resolutions that people make. Many seem to emanate from a possible overindulgence during the festive period and a desire to take action to remedy this. Frequently this takes the form of an improved diet, restriction of certain foods - chocolate and cakes seem to be the most popular! - and a desire to become more physically fit.

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How many times do we use or hear the expression, “I haven’t got enough time!”? I have even asked my PA to see if she could possibly find a way of building a couple of extra hours into my day to complete the tasks I need to get done! The life of an adult in the 21st century is one of moving from activity to activity at breakneck speed, but can you imagine what it will be like when our children reach adulthood - for me that is a scary proposition!

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Food for thought

It is a well-known fact that one of the most important considerations for us all is a 'balanced-diet'. The children learn this through the curriculum, both in Science and PSHE, understanding what constitutes '1 of your 5 a day' and the difference between carbohydrate and protein, for example. This extends further where discussion topics centre about the importance of Omega-3 oils and which fish contain the most. One of the most debated topics is the importance of fruit and vegetables, with many sources in the media expressing concern that children do not consume sufficient quantities of these food groups. It has been well documented that certain aspects of your diet can stimulate cognitive development whilst others can inhibit. So, ensuring there is a balance is key, particularly during a child's formative years.

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Over my teaching career, I have worked in many schools and there has always been the perennial problem of Music versus Sport. If a rehearsal is scheduled at the same time as a team practice, which takes priority? Both play such a vital part in a child's development and it is undoubtedly unfair of teachers to ask them to choose. This is why here at The Croft we have it spot on!

Read more: Can Music and Sport really mix?

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