School News - Young chef wins cookery competition

Nash Mills Primary School children with their new Kindles
Nash Mills Primary School children with their new Kindles

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Nash Mills Primary School pupils receive free Kindles

Fiona Fletcher from Berkhamsted School at the Young Chef 2014 competition

Fiona Fletcher from Berkhamsted School at the Young Chef 2014 competition

Nash Mills Church of England Primary School in Hemel Hempstead received 25 Kindle Paperwhite e-readers as well as a £2,000 gift card to purchase new titles for children to read in the classrooms and library.

Team members from the Hemel Hempstead Amazon fulfilment centre made the surprise delivery. Excited children were invited on stage to open the boxes in front of their class mates.

Amazon’s Hemel Hempstead general manager Stephane Mugniot said: “At Amazon we love reading and we are delighted to be able to provide 25 Kindles to this great local school. “We employ hundreds of people at our fulfilment centre here in Hemel Hempstead, many of who have personal connections with the schools. Our fulfilment centre employees are all involved in selecting the schools and it’s great to see such a fantastic response from the children.”

Nash Mills School headteacher, Rosie Washford Mower said: “I was amazed when I heard that we were going to be the recipients of such a generous donation. With budgets being stretched in the current economic climate, it is extremely challenging for schools to find the money needed to keep up to date with technological advances.

“The Kindles will support our drive to inspire pupils to read and the children cannot wait to get their hands on them; neither can the teachers! We are very grateful to the staff at Amazon for providing such amazing resources.”

Kindle is the best-selling e-reader family in the world, and is designed specifically as a reading tool, with no distractions for kids. Thousands of books can be accessed for free, including classics from Grimm’s Fairy Stories to Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Children can look up definitions as they read to build their vocabulary, as well as increase the font size for easier reading.

Rotary Young Chef 2014

Ten Year 10 students from eight local secondary schools met in the cookery department of Hemel Hempstead School to compete for the title of Young Chef 2014, organised by the Rotary Clubs of Hemel Hempstead and Berkhamsted Bulbourne. They had submitted recipes for a two course meal for two which they had to prepare within two hours. In addition the ingredients had to cost no more than £12.50.

All the competitors showed considerable skill, and their meals were judged by three professionals: Paul Patterson (Head Chef at Ashridge House), Grant Young (Michelin starred chef)and Liz Panter (proprietor of Cavendish Events).

In a close fought competition the winner was Fiona Fletcher of Berkhamsted School with her meal of Thai Green Prawn Curry followed by Trio of mini Swiss Rolls.

St Thomas More School pupils dance to raise awareness of bullying

Children from St Thomas More Catholic Primary School and Nursery in Berkhamsted showcased their bully-beating Dance for Diversity in support of national Anti-Bullying Week.

The whole school took part in a dance show displaying dances from different styles and cultures - celebrating and valuing traditions from around the world including India and Greece.

Each class enjoyed learning about the background to their dance, and through their PE lessons, discovered that dance is a great way to keep fit.

Headteacher Isabel Cerasale said: “We are very proud to support the Anti-Bullying Alliance and raise awareness of such a vital issue. We want to celebrate differences and help all children to feel free to express themselves in a variety of ways.

“At St Thomas More we take the issue of bullying very seriously and hope that our fun dances will help raise the profile of such an important cause.”

Anti-Bullying Week started over 10 years ago to raise the profile of the issue of bullying. This year the aim of the campaign was to stop bullying of disabled children and those with special educational needs.

Recycling materials can be ‘out of this world’ for pupils from St Thomas More School

Reception children at St Thomas More Catholic Primary School and Nursery in Berkhamstead have come up with an ‘out of this world’ way to recycle materials.

As part of the launch of the new waste collection service in Dacorum, the four and five year olds brought in used and discarded materials to create a rocket for their role play area.

A representative from the Dacorum Environmental Awareness Team visited the school to deliver an assembly to educate the children, not only on the recent changes to recycling in the area, but on facts about different materials and the problems that rubbish creates.

Following on from this the Reception class undertook a week long project, linked to their class topic about space, led by local artist Andrea Fitzpatrick. Alongside the rocket, the children made planets, space cakes and wrote notes to their hand-made alien friends.

Outstanding school governors in Hertfordshire recognised

The excellent work of school governors in Hertfordshire has been recognised at the first Outstanding School Governors Awards 2014. The awards, run by Hertfordshire Association of School Governors (HASG) and the UK’s largest, not-for-profit School company, Herts for Learning, took place at Hertfordshire Development Centre in Stevenage and formed part of the Hertfordshire Governors Annual Conference.

The awards have been established to publicly recognise, not only the contribution of individual school governors, but to celebrate the dedication and commitment of all governors in Hertfordshire’s 525 schools.

Schools across the county were asked to nominate a governor(s) who they believe has really made a difference and helped to improve the educational outcomes of children in their school.

Eight finalists were selected, with three receiving the Outstanding Governor of the Year award; winning £500 for their school and a £50 individual prize. The finalists included Paul Elley, chair of governors at Goldfield Infants’ and Nursery School in Tring and Jacky Webby, chair of governors at Ashlyns School in Berkhamsted, who also won one of the Outstanding Governor of the Year Awards 2014.