Culinary classroom on the menu for primary school pupils

Sheringham Carnival chairman Stuart McClean presenting a cheque for £1,000 to Sheringham Primary Sc

Sheringham Carnival chairman Stuart McClean presenting a cheque for £1,000 to Sheringham Primary School head teacher Rachael Carter (back, centre), PTA members and pupils. The cash will go towards a £30,000 project to create a new cookery classroom.Photo: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

Youngsters at a north Norfolk primary school will soon be cooking up a storm in a state-of-the-art culinary classroom, thanks to the efforts of a team of parents who have raised £25,000 by hosting events ranging from coffee mornings to cake sales.

Because pupils at Sheringham Primary School relied on tiny table top ovens to practice their baking skills, Parent Teacher Association (PTA) members decided to take action and, three years ago, launched a scheme aimed at transforming an unused classroom into a fully equipped teaching kitchen capable of accommodating large groups of youngsters.

With the help of volunteers, the 10-strong team, who previously helped raise cash towards a £30,000 pirate-themed adventure play centre for the school playground, have since organised a string of events, including quiz nights, discos, second-hand uniform sales and summer and Christmas fairs.

"We usually try to have a big project on the go and it has always been a dream to have a dedicated cooking space," PTA co-chairman Vicki Harrison said. "The idea is for children to be able to learn essential life skills like cooking and budgeting and to take it that step further, right from growing vegetables in the school garden, to putting a meal on the table."

Work has already started on the classroom, which will have colourful flooring and top-of-the range sinks, ovens, worktops and tables.

The project has also benefited from grants of £500 from Cromer and Sheringham Crab and Lobster Festival and £1,000 from Sheringham Carnival Association, with PTA members writing to other local groups and businesses to ask for support.

The team is now working on raising a further £5,000 to kit out the kitchen with cooking equipment and utensils and it is hoped the classroom will be ready for use by Easter 2020.

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Thanking staff, parents and supporters for their help, Mrs Harrison said: "We are all very excited about the project and, once it is up and running, what we would like to do is to open it up to the community and have things like parent and child sessions, healthy eating workshops and cookery demonstrations."

Businesses or individuals able to help with the cookery classroom can contact Sheringham Primary School on 01263 823848.