Cooking on gas – or not

If there’s one thing that is sure to close a school it is unexpected, unexplained loss of heating and power. No hot water, no lights, no flushing toilets, no ventilation and no cooking of school meals and a school cannot open.

First day back today for our 480 pupils (95% attendance in fact, with about 20 pupils only absent), and the kitchen’s gas supply failed. It just cut out for no reason we could resolve, shortly after all the pupils had arrived on site. If we could not provide a fix then either 480 pupils were being sent home or I was getting involved in buttering a lot of bread!

With two quick adjustments put in place we carried on as if nothing was wrong:

  • The kitchen staff used our teaching kitchen as well as theirs – they utilised our electric ovens for cookies, fish fingers and veggie burgers.
  • The menu was tweaked somewhat, with fewer choices (jacket potatoes had to go, and there was no hot custard or sauce to be cooked).

Some safety precautions were implemented, some information was shared, a gas engineer was sent for and we carried on seamlessly. No one got sent home and everyone got fed, if not exactly with Week 1 Day 5 options.

More figuratively we were ‘cooking on gas’; Year 6 pupils enjoyed a day that included art, IT and history, Year 3 ‘looked through a window’ at a brilliant picture book, we had assembly and playtimes and it all went rather well.

I know there was some apprehension and nervousness at the school gate this morning, but by nine everyone was settling in and getting on really well.

In Assembly I talked about how you often have to try something to find out if you like it – I ate a fresh fig, and some greengages and some chicory leaves, with a Year 4 pupil joining in. I think the children really joined in well today and are already enjoying their new experiences.

We’ll see them all back on Monday, when it would be nice if the gas was back on.

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Attendance

We've achieved...

95.0%

Our target is...

97.4%