We both love cooking with our families and this weekend will be no exception. At the end of this blog are two recipes that you might like to try over the next few days. Don’t forget to send any pictures of your delicious creations to connected@!
The kitchen is a great place for children to try new things, explore and develop a whole raft of skills without external pressure and influences. And just like play in the rest of the house helps development, so too does play in the kitchen.
Children often love to be in this heart of the home, so take advantage of this. You can use cooking as an opportunity to help your child develop their social and emotional skills.
Encouraging children to help out in the kitchen also gives you an opportunity to spend quality time together. Plus, when you get it right, it can be super fun.
Before we look at specific ways cooking can aid children’s emotional development, here are a few practical tips to help you make it interesting and safe:
- Make sure food is handled in a safe way Teach your children about washing hands and what to do when handling ingredients like raw meats.
- Ensure the area is safe and set guidelines. Rules, like not touching the oven and not doing anything without supervision, are all age-dependent and need to be established at the outset. For example, sterilising jars in a microwave is key to keeping jams and chutneys safe to eat for longer, but it’s a job for parents.
- Talk to your children… a lot. Spark conversations about what you’re cooking, where it comes from and why it needs to be prepared a certain way. Ask them questions and let them ask you, too.
- Remember you’re a model for behaviour. Be aware of what you’re doing, as children tend to observe and copy rather than simply follow instructions.
- Keep it simple to start with. It could be as straightforward as making a sandwich. Begin with tasks that are easily achievable and build up as you go.
- Let them experiment. Once they’ve got a good grasp of safety and general cooking processes, let creativity run wild. As long as it’s safe, give them the chance to explore different ingredients, combinations and recipes – they’ll love it!
These are just some tips to make cooking with children easier, but be sure to brainstorm any other sensible guidelines that could be helpful for your kitchen and your children. That's the practical side sorted! Now, onto five ways that cooking can really help with children’s emotional development.
Cooking is a great way of spending time with your children. It gives them a chance to spend time with you, too. There’s nothing that builds a bond better than that. Not only does it give you a chance to enjoy them, but it also gives your little ones the opportunity to chat and be themselves.
Cooking is all about patience. Patience when things go wrong, patience when waiting to be told when they can help with and patience waiting for their masterpiece to cook. The more patience children develop early on, the better they’ll be able to deal with waiting as they get older.
Learning a new skill is a great way of developing a child’s confidence. There’s nothing more satisfying than knowing you’ve played a huge part in the success of an end result. And that goes double with children. Give lots of praise and let them know what a great job they’ve done. Also, things can go wrong when you cook, so they can learn how to cope with disappointment and overcome the knocks.
Part of building confidence is learning problem-solving skills. As children develop reasoning and the ability to think of alternative methods, they’ll be able to overcome problems more easily and feel more like they can achieve their goals. Cooking creates all kinds of potential issues, so when you help little ones work their way through, it’s satisfying for them and reassuring that the next time they face a problem, they can solve it.
When you start off cooking with children, they’ll be involved in a lot of simple tasks – partly so it’s easier for you to teach, and partly to make sure everything is done in a safe manner. The more cooking you do together, the more tasks you can give them responsibility for. For example, when sterilising jars in a microwave, it could be that they start off by just pushing the button, but after a while, they can do more.
As you can see, cooking can advance children’s emotional development in so many ways. Whether it’s the confidence to get things wrong and learn from that, or using problem-solving skills to deal with conflicts, they can take what they learn in the kitchen to the outside world. This is a chance for you help your child learn and develop, and have a great time too.
Easy Rocky Road
• 200g digestive biscuits (Rich Tea can also be used)
• 135g butter or margarine
• 200g dark chocolate
• 2-3 tbsp golden syrup
• 100g mini marshmallows (chopped regular marshmallows work too)
• icing sugar, to dust
Optional (up to 100g)
• raisins, dried cranberries or any dried fruit
• honeycomb , broken into pieces
1. Grease and line an 18cm square brownie tin with baking paper.
2. Place 200g digestive biscuits in a freezer bag and bash with a rolling pin or just the side of your fist until they're broken into a mixture of everything between dust and 50p-sized lumps. Set aside.
3. In a large saucepan melt 135g butter or margarine, 200g dark chocolate and 2-3 tbsp golden syrup over a gentle heat stirring constantly until there are no or almost no more lumps of chocolate visible, then remove from the heat. Leave to cool.
4. Take the biscuits, 100g mini marshmallows and up to 100g of additional ingredients (dried fruit, popcorn, honeycomb), if you like, and stir into the chocolate mixture until everything is completely covered.
5. Tip the mixture into the lined baking tin, and spread it out to the corners. Chill for at least 2 hrs then dust with icing sugar and cut into 12 fingers.
Simple Spaghetti Bolognese by Chris Bell
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 400g/14oz beef mince
• 1 onion, diced
• 2 garlic cloves, chopped
• 100g/3½oz carrot, grated
• 2 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
• 400ml/14fl oz stock (made from stock cube. Ideally beef, but any will do)
• 400g/14oz dried spaghetti
• salt and pepper
1. Heat a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and once hot add the beef mince and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the mince until well browned over a medium-high heat (be careful not to burn the mince. It just needs to be a dark brown colour). Once browned, transfer the mince to a bowl and set aside.
2. Add another tablespoon of oil to the saucepan you browned the mince in and turn the heat to medium. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and fry gently for 5-6 minutes, or until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the grated carrot then pour the mince and any juices in the bowl back into the saucepan.
3. Add the tomatoes to the pan and stir well to mix. Pour in the stock, bring to a simmer and then reduce the temperature to simmer gently for 45 minutes, or until the sauce is thick and rich. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
4. When ready to cook the spaghetti, heat a large saucepan of water and add a pinch of salt. Cook according to the packet instructions. Once the spaghetti is cooked through, drain and add to the pan with the bolognese sauce. Mix well and serve.
Emma and William
Celebration and Golden Tree Assembly
Henry A: for being a star at tidy-up time! He regularly offers to tidy away toys at the end of the day even though he has not played with them.
Ezra M: for impressing his teachers and friends at lunch time. He now eats his food without any fuss and is one of the first to finish.
Cora A: for coming back to school with the biggest smile and joining in with everything as if she’s never been away!
Jude S: for doing super listening and joining in at carpet time and always wanting to please his teachers!
Henry G: for his super knowledge about spiders
Annabelle and Charlotte B: for spreading so much joy and enthusiasm at school
Oscar McD: for his effort with his split digraph phonics work
Zain M-E: for having made great progress with his phonics this half term
Jack McC-G: for fantastic animal speech bubble writing, fantastic sounding out Jack!
Maxi C: for trying so hard to eat his whole lunch I’m the given time.
Luka S L: for excellent counting work, in twos, fives and tens, well done!
Freddy L: for returning to school with a positive attitude to learning and working with focus and diligence. Well done Freddy.
Jago C: for writing a descriptive under the sea story, using excellent language.
Edi K-J: for writing an amazing under the sea story with lots of detail.
Alessandro L: For being a very brave and sensible boy.
Alexander B: for always participating brilliantly and enthusiastically in class discussions.
Luca S: for listening carefully and working hard for his teachers.
Jonathan E: for sharing his amazing knowledge on London with his bubble.
Ollie F-H: for working hard and improving his handwriting.
Xanthippe B: for her informative fact file about whales.
Anna P: for her lovely descriptive diary entry in English.
Eloise A: for working hard in Maths.
Freddie J: for his hard work and enthusiasm towards his lessons.
Reuben C: for always being so polite and showing such a positive attitude towards his work.
Hannah F: for wonderful diary writing from the story the storm whale.
Daisy H: for super work and thinking carefully about what she appreciates in PSHE.
Arthur B: for sharing interesting information when learning about Grace Darling.
Ben W: for showing such a great interest in Science making electrical circuits.
Kimon L: for writing some imaginative Haiku poems.
Arthur Jack E: for designing an amazing sunstone in the style of the Aztecs.
Eddie G: for working hard on all maths tasks and making two different 3D shapes independently.
Ben C: for super contributions of his own knowledge to discussions in class.
HEAD MASTER'S COMMENDATIONS
James E and Hari K-J: for producing some high quality English work this week.
Max C: for always trying his best in remote learning in English.
Keiran E: for his mature and cheerful correspondence with adults.
Zahra Y: for trying hard to produce higher quality work and for making a great return to the classroom.
Mariella O' B, Andreas L and Harry M: for coming back to school with enthusiasm and a zest to learn.
Charlie H, Barney W, Max A, Nate M and Carys C: for their amazing contribution to the Drama Club video content.
Tom V: for his unwavering enthusiasm and commitment to Drama tasks this term.
George H and Inara H: for their great LAMDA video submissions.
Thomas K, Jimmy N and Hari KJ: for fully engaging in their artwork and creating excellent pieces of work.
Radley H: for working beyond an initial idea in Art.
Ella G: for her commitment to Art and achieving her best.
Julian J: for consistently working hard, completing his classwork in full and for often doing extension tasks or his own research.
Gabriel R-A: for his positive attitude, hard word work and organisation.
Lukas O and Jonah P: for continued hard work, focus and producing excellent pieces of work throughout this term. A tremendous effort!
Leo M: for continuing to work hard this term and for showing independence with his learning.
Alexander L: for continued hard work with his remote learning and for producing excellent pieces of work.
Harry W: for Microclimate work in Geography.
Savannah K and Seb M: for effort in Geography.
Harry E: for engagement in Academic Enrichment lesson.
Leo C: for effort in Geography.
Sofia B: for independently completing a film review of The Iron Giant after reading The Iron Man, and encouraging her peers to watch it through her obvious enjoyment of it.
Alexander L V and Alma S: for working really hard to create imaginative similes when creating a menu for the Iron Man.
Gracie M: for settling back into school well and working hard to complete some brilliant independent work.
Owen H: for the excellent work he has completed to date on his History project.
SPIRIT OF ST GEORGE'S AWARD
Nefeli M: for her politeness, kindness and gratitude demonstrated in PSHE and during Wellbeing Wednesdays.
Summer E: for helpfulness, thoughtfulness and consideration of others.
Reya M: for her maturity, politeness and respect when communicating with her teachers through the remote learning period.
Harry E and Nathan M: for demonstrating leadership qualities during a sports feedback session.
Max A: For his very polite manner of communication with everyone.
Wildlife Trust Creative Challenge Prize Winners
Well done to Harry L in 2GA for being awarded a 'Judges Special Award' in the recent 'Wild About Nature' competition organised by Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust, for his gravel tiger image that we used as a header in Week 5. The competition was really about local wildlife, but judges were so impressed with Harry's entry that they felt it needed a special prize.
Congratulations also go to Sienna T, for winning 1st prize in the Category 2 Primary School 7-11 age group for her 'Nature' story and collage. We are very proud of both these Year 2 children.
It has been wonderful to hear the sound of laughter around the Pre-Prep again when Years 2 and 3 returned to school to join the other year groups. The warm weather has greatly facilitated the use of the gardens, playing fields and outdoor classrooms to spread out in.
The Year 1 bubbles have been very busy in their classrooms, painting in bright colours and learning OU and OW words. They've been studying paintings by Lyora Pissarro who decorated one of the lions on the Lions of Windsor Sculpture Trail last year.
Now back in school, Year 2 have continued with their seaside theme they did work on at home and have produced some more sunny artwork and some lovely creative writing.
Year 3 have enjoyed coming back to school and being with their friends again! In maths 3CH have been making polyhedron pets and 3D shapes.
3ML were clearly thrilled to be back in school!
After working hard in the classroom, Year 4 were allowed to get active and go a little bit crazy on Home Park Private! They even had outside maths lessons. 4ER made some impressive Iron Men.
Year 5 were all ready for their art lesson in the garden - much cooler than up in the Art Room and it opens up all sorts of possibilities...
This Week in Year 7
Table tennis and team building exercises were a welcome change from remote learning and it was great to be able to do it with friends again.
Connected@ Photo Gallery
It's good to see children are continuing to enjoy a whole range of hobbies and activities outside school.
Fantastic Year 8 Common Entrance Results and Enrichment Programme
William was delighted to share the Common Entrance Results with pupils in Year 8 on Wednesday afternoon. Having prepared for these assessments for two years now, they were of course sat in very unusual circumstances - at home. However, everyone in Year 8 can be immensely proud of their results and can move on to their Senior Schools ready to embrace all the exciting challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
Our Pupils will be moving on to the following Schools:
The Island School, Hong Kong
Luckley House School
The Windsor Boys' School
The Year 8s are currently engaged in their 'Enrichment Programme', which has involved the following events this week:
- A private virtual tour of the Houses of Parliament and House of Lords
- E-Safety talk
- Poster Presentation challenge on equality, based on the film 'Hidden Figures'
- Q&A session with Housemaster from Canford
- Online Escape Room Challenge
- Q&A session on George III
- Leadership talk by Drew Povey
- First Aid Session with a serving Paramedic
A highlight this week was a live cooking lesson. Mrs Padam ran a video lesson on Indian cooking as part of the Year 8 Enrichment Programme. She taught the children how to make a Chicken Tikka Masala curry and rice with peas and sweetcorn, although some pupils opted for the vegetarian version. They were all sent a list of ingredients prior to the lesson to ensure that they had all the relevant Indian spices. Everyone, including parents, seemed to enjoy the experience and enter into the spirit of things.
Next week's challenge is given over to a business enterprise week, run by 7billionideas. The pupils will have to create their own business plan and pitch a product to an audience on Thursday.
The Year 8s have embraced the Enrichment Programme with great enthusiasm, and we look forward to seeing their Aladdin piece and to welcoming them all back to St George's during the final week of term.
Wednesday's Assembly, from the Outdoor Classroom
This Week's Podcasts
This week Mr Wilson speaks to Dr Kathy Weston who is an expert on parental engagement in children's lives and learning. Educated at Cambridge University as a criminologist, she spent five years studying the dynamics of coping and resilience in the face of adversity. Currently, she works as an education researcher and motivational speaker in the area of parenting, education and family life, and is a regular contributor to BBC radio. She translates research into practical tips and parents can "try and apply" easily, within the context of busy family life.
As this week is National Cricket Week, Mr Wilson also spoke to three professional cricketers from Hampshire CCC - Oliver Soames, Tom Alsop and Ajeet Dale. The live recorded Zoom interview includes coaching tips for STG pupils, and is well worth listening to if you are a cricket fan. Thanks to @hantscricket and @PCA for making it happen.
SOuL Outdoor Learning
This week Mrs Onions has been looking at The Invisible Maze, a great problem solving and communication exercise for small and large teams that can be carried out in or outdoors. This fun and challenging activity will develop problem-solving, planning, communication and resilience skills in children. It’s great as an activity for family teams too! The kit needed can easily be improvised with bits and pieces you may already have around the house.
The solutions to last week's quiz: comma; common blue; large tortoiseshell; painted lady; red admiral; peacock.
Do you recognise these famous sights in Windsor Great Park?