student cheering

Thank You For the Cooking

26 June 2020

Having put a tremendous amount of effort into inspiring our boys with dozens of Cooking & Nutrition lessons, harvesting The Beacon Kitchen Garden, and delivering home-cooked meals to frontline NHS staff, Our Cooking & Nutrition teacher, Mrs Rowland, reflects on the past few months:

What an unbelievable journey the last three months have been. For all the challenges COVID-19 has brought, it has also brought a sense of unity and community spirit that most of us have not had time to focus on in our busy lives. We’ve had to think outside the box in a variety of ways, from substituting ingredients to adapting to children learning from home. It has certainly made me, and many people I know, reflect on our lives, family values, relationships with friends and community more than ever, and I feel the intense sense of belonging and strength that has come from working together as a community.

Seer Green community has been unfailing in their helping of others, never more so than during this crisis, and I know the Beacon Community has been doing exactly the same. Our incredible teachers, as ever, have gone above and beyond to help boys and their families manage the challenges of the lockdown and learning online – both academically and pastorally.

With our #BeaconExcellence: Online lessons and kitchen garden produce, I have been able to combine the two, making dishes for online lessons, as well as delivering food to frontline workers. It has been incredibly rewarding and really highlighted the value of growing your own produce, eating home-cooked, healthy meals and sharing our skills with those in need.

A lot of our frontline workers were surviving on very little sleep and proper meals, during what has to be the hardest time of their lives. We all know the value of both. Throughout the lockdown, I was one of 49 mums, grandparents and children helping to put together healthy. nutritious meals to sustain our frontline workers, in a bid to do our bit and keep them going and keep them healthy. For me, one of the most striking moments during the thick of the crisis was receiving a ‘thank you’ message from a paramedic to say our meal was the only home-cooked meal she had had in weeks; she was too tired to cook when she got home after a shift.

Having dropped our last food delivery to Wexham Park Hospital this week, I won’t deny that I will miss this sense of unity and togetherness; of making some small difference to those who are making the ultimate sacrifice for us. With supply shortages most of us have never experienced in our lifetime, I think it has placed value back into our food and hopefully this is one thing that will remain. I hope that now that life is starting to return to normal, we all have the opportunity to share meals and happy moments together with our families, friends and loved ones. Hopefully we have all found a little bit of good in this very hard time.

We would like to say another big ‘thank you’ and ‘well done’ to all our boys who have put so much effort into their cooking since we moved to #BeaconExcellence: Online, and we hope that Mrs Rowland has helped inspire you to continue to cook, share and enjoy food with others.

Don’t stop cooking – visit Mrs Rowland’s Cooking Showreel for dozens of wonderful video tutorials and recipes.