Nieper Academy World of Work week and Enterprise week

School Pupils experience the food industry at Nieper Academy

As part of the its ongoing commitment to the academy Owen Taylor’s supported the Year 10 World of work week and the Year 8 Enterprise week. Contributing all the meat of course but importantly committing time with students and their activities which really helps put a real-world context onto the work they produce.

The Year 8 students had a week of fully embracing their enterprise week. Dividing into teams then split into sub teams they worked on a rotation basis, so each sub team would design team logos for aprons, create packaging and produce food for a Read Steady cook style competition which involved following a recipe cooking for the entire year group. A sample from each team was put up for judging. With over 40 years chef experience between them Jon Creed and Nigel Winn judged on Tuesday and Thursday respectively. There were some witty team names such as “Only Food and Sauces” and “Grated Expectations” and the students entered the competitions with enthusiasm. On Tuesday the students produced lasagne and garlic bread from scratch.

“The quality of food produced was outstanding and the students were so polite and fully engaged in what they were doing. It was very impressive”, Jon Creed, Sales Executive from Owen Taylors.  

On Wednesday, Carl Evans (Operations Manager from Owen Taylors) judged the presentation of the Beef burgers and potato wedges and was impressed to see efforts by students and the support given staff.

Nigel Winn (Sales Executive from Owen Taylors) who judged the cottage pie produced on Thursday said, “I was amazed by the organisation and the standard.”

Their week cumulated to final competitions on the Friday finishing off a very successful week.

The year 10 students followed the format that was successfully introduced last year for their World of Work week by the Headteacher Dr Hobbs. The concept is to ensure a more robust work experience than the varied outcomes achieved by individual work placements. The week focuses on work-based workshops, CV writing and interview skills, using public transport to visit a university, and team building exercises.

This year due to popularity; Owen Taylors was asked to expand the Burger challenge to the entire year group. This was going to be a much larger undertaking and so Mr Brankin (head of PE and performing arts) mobilised the teaching staff and structured the event to gain specific outcomes during the exercise. The day started with an introduction by Carl Evans setting out the challenge to the year group. Dividing into 11 teams they were to decide on the team name and then design a new burger so that by the end the group will have produced attractive packaging with newly created name, calculating the allergen and nutritional information as well as a raw burger and cooked burger sample. Lee Gould, Owen Taylors Food Safety Manager who supervised the production sub teams to make the burgers said, “there was a real buzz in the production area with all the students getting involved with the mixing ingredients of their chosen seasoning and spices and using the burger press”.

When all the finished products came together on the judging table in the main hall its was clear to see the event had been a remarkable success. The team leaders lined up behind their own products and gave a two-minute presentation of their teams’ creation.

“It was great to see confident (and humorous) presentations and the content demonstrated how much thought and creativity was put in by each group as well as the technical accomplishments that were evident on the judging table. There was real enthusiasm shown throughout the workshop by the students and staff alike. I also took part in the formal interview session later in the day alongside other businesses for the students interview practise and we were very impressed how prepared and professional they all were. This academy is going from strength to strength.” Carl Evans, Operations Manager at Owen Taylors.

The world of Work week has proven an important part of the students’ curriculum helping the students gain important work (and life) skills that make them much more aspirational and employable for the future.

Left to right: Lee Gould (Food Safety Manager), students at Nieper and Carl Evans (Operations Manager)