National award for Abronhill school

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A BRIGHT idea to turn an unused classroom into a ‘kitchen’ has resulted in a Cumbernauld school winning a national award.

Abronhill Primary School are the proud recipients of a Community Education Award 2012 after they decided to introduce cooking classes in the curriculum.

Headteacher Gillian Hanlon and her staff offer pupils the chance to cook every Friday as part of the curriculum.

And now their project has resulted in them receiving a national award.

The Community Education Awards celebrate the efforts of those actively helping children and young people to become positive members of their communities.

Organised by the Police Community Clubs Of Great Britain, they are aimed at UK schools and pupil referral units that use education to encourage good citizenship and responsible decision-making.

Through the cooking sessions, the pupils learn about healthy eating, responsibility of clearing up after themselves, good hygiene, and of course how to cook.

The school plans to expand on the success of the project by producing a healthy recipe book, hosting Fruity Friday sessions, and involving the nursery in cooking classes.

Pupils involved in the project say their favourite dishes over the school term included haggis, heeps and tatties, lasagne and veggie soup.

The school officially received its award on Thursday, January 31, from Sergeant Stuart Corbett, who was representing the Police Community Clubs of Great Britain, and Christine Pollock, who is the executive director of learning and leisure at North Lanarkshire Council.

A special presentation of around £100 worth of cooking equipment was made by Tesco in Cumbernauld.

Catherine Drummond, who is community champion for Tesco, said: “We wanted to congratulate the school on receiving this national award and we decided to donate cooking equipment which we hope will help with future lessons.”

During the presentation, parents, teacher and invited guests were treated to some songs with a healthy eating theme from both the nursery class and pupils.

Pupils also explained how the project works and what it means to them.

On receiving the award, headteacher Gillian Hanlon joked, “No child ever wants to get sent home sick on a Friday.”

She added: “The children, staff and parents of Abronhill Primary and Nursery class are delighted to have received this Community Education Award for our Fun Friday Healthy Eating Initiative.

“The children have worked extremely hard and have learned lifelong skills through the weekly cooking sessions.

“Fun Friday has helped children develop their skills across all aspects of the curriculum in a fun and enjoyable way.

“We are thrilled to be the successful recipients of this national award.”

Christine Pollock, executive director of learning and leisure services at NLC, added: “I’d like to congratulate the school on winning such a prestigious national award.

“Teaching the pupils key life skills in such an innovative way has provided a great learning experience and I know the children and staff have really enjoyed being part of the project.”

For more pictures, see this week’s Cumbernauld News or Kilsyth Chronicle dated Wednesday, February 6.