Now in its fourth year, The Little and Large Cookery Competition offers schools in East Lothian the opportunity to take part in a unique culinary challenge. The aim is to bring together primary and secondary pupils to experience the joy of cooking as well as to impart valuable life skills and raise awareness of the healthy eating messages in a fun, practical way.
This year 20 schools took part. They were:
- East Linton
- St Gabriel’s
- Musselburgh Burgh
- St Marys
- Kings Meadow
- St Martin’s
- Sanderson’s Wynd
- Knox Academy
- Musselburgh Grammar
- Ross High
- Preston Lodge
In the first round of the competition, two primary 6 pupils from each participating school are teamed up with a Home Economics student from their cluster High School. The role of the secondary student is to lead the activity by supporting and guiding the younger pupils through the processes involved in creating a healthy meal.
The winning team from each heat then went on to represent their cluster in a county cook off which this year was held at Knox Academy on 27th May.
15 young chefs braved the heat of the kitchen to compete in the final. The teams were: Musselburgh Grammar with Whitecraig Primary; Preston Lodge High School with Cockenzie Primary; Ross High School with Saltoun and East Linton Primaries; and Knox Academy with King’s Meadow Primary. Their challenge was to create a delicious healthy two course meal using a wide range of ingredients which reflected international cuisine.
Councillor Ruth Currie, Craig Hunter from The Avenue in Haddington and East Lothian Council’s Catering Officer Rick Cooper were on hand to judge the teams’ efforts before coming to their final decision.
An S2 pupil from Knox Academy worked with two P6 pupils from King’s Meadow on their winning creations. They served up a tasty creamy Indian curry with cardamom-infused rice and a chocolate fruit pizza.
Cllr Currie admitted it was a tough task, saying: “The standard was so high that it was difficult to choose a winner. However, alongside the all-important taste test we also consider other elements such as how the team works together and their flair for the ingredients before them. The team from Knox Academy and King’s Meadow excelled on all aspects and were very worthy winners.”
Karen Hossack, Principal Teacher Home Economics at Knox Academy hosted the final event and believes that the lessons learned extend beyond the classroom’s boundaries, saying: “Little and Large is an exciting opportunity to promote healthy eating and develop links between schools and the community.”
All of the pupils in the final received a £10 book token to mark their achievements while the winners were presented with the Little and Large trophy and commemorative plaques to take back to their schools.
Teachers and pupils who took part in this year’s competition were consulted on how they viewed the event. Feedback from the young people and teachers is much appreciated and their valuable comments will be used to shape and develop next year’s event. The value of the event as a transitional activity, and the wish to be able to share the experience with all the children in the class were recurring themes this year and we are looking at ways to address these issues in the coming year. Here is a selection of their comments:
What was good about this event?
Cooking and learning about food. (Primary)
It is a good occasion to introduce the primary school pupils to healthy eating, food preparation and social interaction with others. (Secondary)
It taught us useful life skills and gave us a chance to try something new. (Primary)
I really enjoyed making my own pastry. (Primary)
I never knew how well I could cook. (Primary)
It fits in really well with a Curriculum For Excellence – all four capacities are met during the cooking experience. (Primary)
What could be done better?
We should have videoed some bits to put on Edubuzz. (Primary)
Live link so that friends and family could watch the final. (Primary)
In an ideal world it would be great for this type of thing to happen throughout the school year thus opening up the opportunities to more pupils. (Primary)
Encourage more primary schools to participate. (Secondary)
Any other comments?
We would recommend it to anyone.
It encourages us to cook more.
The girls had a fantastic time and were desperate to share their experiences with the rest of the class. Lots more children would have loved to take part.
This could play a huge part in the eventual transition in P7
Finally, a big thanks to all those who took part this year and we look forward to seeing you in 2011!
For more information, please contact:
Development Officer, Food and Health
East Lothian Council