I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to spend some time at East Lothian Works’ Cookery Courses. These classes run as part of the Pre-Vocational programme, giving secondary school students the opportunity to learn new skills and perhaps find a passion for a certain career. Students undertaking the cookery course get the opportunity to practice their cooking and baking skills, learn about health and safety in the workplace, and learn about where food comes from and how it can be used from professionals in the field.
The first class I visited consisted of students from Musselburgh Grammar, Ross High School, and Preston Lodge. They were at Edinburgh College on this occasion, attending a seminar on food health and safety. The class themselves were an incredible bunch; really lively and interested in what they were learning about. The students were from different schools, but they had all formed strong relationships as a result of this course.
The second group I visited were spending the day at Musselburgh Grammar in the kitchens learning how to cook multiple courses at once; it smelt incredible! This class consisted of students from Preston Lodge, Knox Academy, and North Berwick High School. Once again, this class were fantastic, getting stuck in and producing some amazing results. I was incredibly impressed with the work being done.
The cookery course offers students the chance to learn new skills that will be useful in a career in the culinary arts, and also in their daily lives. I would like to thank the teachers and students for allowing me into their class. I would also like to extend a thank you to Edinburgh College, Musselburgh Grammar School, and Knox Academy for providing us with use of their kitchens for this course.
I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to interview Rohan, an S3 student in East Lothian, who has taken part in East Lothian Works’ Pre-Voc Musical Theatre group. It was fantastic to gain an insight into what it is like to take part in one of these programmes, and to understand what students enjoy and find difficult about doing such activities. East Lothian Works’ Pre-Vocational courses offer students in secondary school the opportunity to learn and develop social and practical skills which help them gain employment, training, or a place at college or university. They give students the chance to learn new skills and build on talents that they already have.
I sat down with Rohan to ask her a couple of questions:
On the 4th of June 2019, a group of young people from different high schools throughout East Lothian came together to showcase the musical theatre skills they had been working on. Attendance was high, and the show proved to be a huge success, with rave reviews from students, parents, carers, and staff alike.
The musical theatre group formed in January, and began to work on the blueprints of a show, using collaborative working to reach a shared goal. With the help of East Lothian Council, the group met eighteen times throughout the term to work on their routines with the organisation ‘Dance Division’. The emphasis in these sessions was team-working; letting the students work together to determine what they wanted to display to their audience.
Most of the students did not know each other before the group was created, but through it they developed strong friendships, and developed their confidence and self esteem.
The showcase was the group’s final piece of work before the end of term, proving as evidence of all the hard work they have put in throughout the year. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and I think it’s clear to say that the students should be incredibly proud of themselves.