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Woodlands Primary Runs Culinary Programme for Children with SEND

Woodlands Primary School is proud to announce the completion of its Blend Kitchen 'Gather & Cook' programme, a five-week culinary education initiative in collaboration with Blend Kitchen. The programme aimed to equip vulnerable pupils with valuable culinary skills and real-world experience.

What makes this achievement remarkable is that all six children from Woodlands Primary School who participated have additional needs, including social communication difficulties, Autism, medical needs, learning difficulties, sensory processing disorder, and speech and language needs.

Due to their additional needs, the children did not sit the Standard Assessment Tests (SATs) with their peers. Instead, the school provided them with a practical and meaningful goal to work towards during this period.

The Blend Kitchen programme offered a transformative opportunity for our vulnerable children. Despite the challenges they faced, they excelled and exceeded our expectations.

Mrs Johnstone

The five-week programme allowed students to choose the dishes they cooked and visit the local market for fresh ingredients. They gained insights into the dining experience by alternating between cooking and preparing the restaurant and tables for guests.

One day, the students cooked for paying guests, showcasing their culinary skills and hospitality.

The children's enthusiasm, hard work, and ability to follow instructions were truly impressive. They showed remarkable teamwork and professionalism.

John Forrest, chef at Blend Kitchen

The programme concluded with a presentation day where parents, family members, and school staff enjoyed a delightful three-course meal prepared by the children.

Blend was exciting - learning new dishes and feeling proud when I cooked for my dad.

Edith, Year 6 pupil

Blend Kitchen, an award-winning social enterprise, played a pivotal role in the programme's success. They provide life-changing opportunities to individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those with mental health conditions, autism, learning disabilities, homelessness, and more.

Woodlands and Mercia Learning Trust extends their deepest gratitude to Blend Kitchen for their support and commitment to nurturing young talent. This collaboration has equipped the students with valuable culinary skills and a sense of accomplishment.