Ripley students serve up school dinner to parents

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Students in Ripley prepared a festive treat for their families – a three-course Christmas dinner at school.

A total of 20 students from Years Seven to Ten at Ripley Academy were chosen to take part so that they could share something special that they had done at school with their families.

They each prepared a starter, main course and dessert from a menu designed by principal Carey Ayres before serving it to family members.

They were supported by members of the academy’s senior leadership team, including Mrs Ayres, food technician Josie Wadsworth and Jo Barlow, the academy’s pastoral co-ordinator.

Mrs Ayres said that everyone had enjoyed cooking the dinner and sharing it with their families at school.

She said: “It’s been great and a lot of these students won’t have done anything like this before so it’s been a new experience for them too.

“I came up with the menu and they had to take it home and all choose what they wanted. We helped them with the cooking and we set up two classrooms as dining rooms.

“It was hard work for everyone involved but it all looked fantastic and we are very proud of all of the students involved and would like to thank their families for coming in.

“I would also like to thank Ripley Parish Church for lending us the crockery, Assistant Principal Chris Endacott for ordering the food and confirming meal choices, Helen Fozard and my PA Collette Robson, who cooked all day too. It was a huge joint effort.

“We wanted to give the students and families a positive experience in school and something that they could share together.”

Student Jake Whittaker, 14, invited his granddad Mike in to school for the special event.

Jake said: “We started cooking at about 8.45am and it took us about four hours. I think we peeled a total of 500 potatoes. I really enjoyed doing it and I’ve loved having my granddad here to share it with me.”

Mike said: “I think it’s a great idea. Jake loves cooking and I think it’s good that the school is involving the families too.”

Student Seamus Williamson, 12, asked his mum Emily to join him for the festive meal.

He said: “It’s been absolutely awesome, just to have my mum here with me has been amazing. I’ve been really excited about it. I got up at 6.30am and I was jumping around because I couldn’t wait.”

Emily said: “I think it’s a wonderful idea and I was touched to have been invited.”