Pupils at Weaverham Primary Academy have the skills to eat healthily at home after being taught by a master chef.
Harry Marquart, a former winner of Irish culinary TV show Head Chef, is responsible for devising the lunch menu for several schools run by North West Academies Trust (NWAT) across Cheshire.
Shortly before children were required to stay at home due to the coronavirus crisis, he dropped in at the Northwich Road school to talk about the importance of healthy eating.
Now hopes are high that the Year 5 and 6 pupils are putting what they learned into practice.
Harry, who also runs restaurants in Liverpool, said: “I was pleased to see the children already knew key aspects of diet, exercise and mindfulness.
“The class were grouped into five tables – Team Salsa, Team Guacamole, Team Yoghurt, Team Flatbread and Team Marinating – and we put theory into practice and created a ‘healthy takeaway’ which featured meat and vegetarian kebabs.
“Each team was responsible for making an element of the dish, and at the end we all came together to complete the dish.
“We looked at what each of the elements were within the food groups, and the kebabs were thoroughly enjoyed by all.
“I’d love to think the children are continuing to eat well at home wherever possible, it’s just part of looking after ourselves and each other during these challenging times.”
Harry has been cooking at Oak View Academy in Winsford and Delamere Academy near Northwich for several years, but took over the running of the kitchens at Rudheath Senior Academy near Northwich and Weaverham when they joined the NWAT just over a year ago.
Executive Headteacher Fiona Whittaker added: “We want the children to learn about and understand good nutrition and the impact it has on their bodies, not just to help them learn and concentrate but also to help them enjoy life, stay well and be happy.
“Harry does the most fantastic school dinners and he has a special kind of magic when it comes to getting children to eat lots of vegetables, which he packs into every meal, usually without the children even realising!”
The project is part of wider changes at Weaverham Primary Academy. The Northwich Road school joined North West Academies Trust (NWAT) just over a year ago.
Ms Whittaker, who guided Winsford’s Oak View Academy out of special measures in 2014 to being classified as ‘good’ by Ofsted, was appointed and progress is being swiftly made.
Steve Docking, CEO of NWAT, said: “Weaverham has strong leadership and a great team who have made remarkable strides.
“Children are enjoying a huge amount of new opportunities and are taking responsibility for their own decisions. This is the start of something very special.”
Among the other NWAT schools is Delamere Academy, near Northwich, which is ranked the highest performing primary in West Cheshire according to the latest performance tables.
In Chester there is Acresfield Primary School, which is second-highest performing, and St Martin’s Academy, which is the most over-subscribed school in the borough.
For information about the Weaverham Primary Academy and the new Weaverham Pre-School, tel: 01606 852148.