Excitement filled the Museum in Docklands today when top chef Gary Rhodes joined 120 pupils and teaching staff from eight of Newham’s Education Action Zone (EAZ) schools to hear who had won the Newham Citizenship Week 2003 Food for All competition.
The busy chef had agreed to make it a day to remember for the seven winners and eight runners-up by giving them an exclusive cookery lesson on making gingerbread men and cookies as part of their prize. They were also presented with a signed recipe, a signed copy of Tate & Lyle’s children’s cookbook, plus a gingerbread wrapped gift.
As part of the competition Key Stage One pupils (aged 5 - 7) were asked to design a poster on the theme of Food for All, while Key Stage Two pupils (aged 8 -10) had to write a letter to MP Clare Short, Secretary of State for International Development, on the same topic. Pupils then voted for one letter and one poster to go forward and represent their school.
The entries were then judged by a panel, including representatives from Tate & Lyle PLC, J.Sainsbury PLC and the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, with the 120 pupils attending today’s prize-winning ceremony.
Guest speaker, Newham Education Director, Pauline Madison, said she had been overwhelmed by the hard work the children had put into their posters and letters, adding that judges had a very tough time making their decisions.
Said Pauline: "Such was the quality of the work that you are all winners and you should all be very proud of your achievements."
Gary Rhodes said: "I am delighted to be here today to applaud the fantastic work that all of the children have prepared for this competition.
"I strongly believe that if we teach children from a young age the basics and pleasures of cooking, this will not only lead to better eating habits amongst youngsters but will also set them on a course for a healthier diet and lifestyle in general."
Tate & Lyle’s Director of Corporate Relations, Chris Fox, who hosted the event said: 'It was a pleasure to be involved in Citizenship Week from beginning to end.
"Watching Gary Rhodes bring cooking to life for all these children was very inspiring indeed.
"I hope that today’s event will inspire more children to start cooking on a regular basis!"
The competition was one of many successful events developed by Newham Education Business Partnership (NEBP), Newham EAZ, Tate & Lyle PLC, the Museum in Docklands and ExCeL to promote Newham Citizenship Week 2003.
Other events included 'Question Time' at East Ham Town Hall with local MP Stephen Timms, a tour of the Houses of Parliament with Tony Banks MP, a mock election at the Tower of London, a Tate & Lyle PLC sponsored 'Junior Citizens' scheme - a half day programme of safety awareness run by the Met Police and involving agencies including London Transport and the Fire Brigade, and an inter school 'Question Time' based on the TV series, Runaround, hosted by ExCeL. Several schools also took part in theatre group workshops exploring the themes of environment and sustainability.
In addition, pupils acted as junior reporters for a number of local newspapers, and school councils were active in the discussion of citizenship issues.
For further information contact:
Karen Cousins, Newham EAZ Press Officer 07957 492 678
Marianne Hahn, BMA Communications, PR for Gary Rhodes 020 8682 2482
Newham’s Citizenship Week 2003 programme, ran from 20-24 January, and built upon the success of the original scheme piloted in 2002.
The eight Newham EAZ schools taking part in the competition are Britannia Village, Curwen, Manor, Ranelagh, Scott Wilkie, Star, St Helen’s and St Joachim’s.
Newham Education Action Zone is one of 73 EAZs in the UK. It was one of the first EAZ’s established and has been particularly successful. EAZs were established by the Government under charity status in 1998 to improve education in under achieving areas. From next September EAZs will be brought under the Education Department's Excellence in Cities scheme.
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