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Crich Junior School


Food for Life – Gold Champions!


Food has been at the heart of our work in school this term. As a Gold ‘Food for Life’ School we are all committed to developing pupils’ knowledge and skills in growing, cooking, eating healthy school lunches and knowing where the food on our plate comes from. I hope this article gives you a flavour of our work.

Jo Twelves, one of our parent governors, who is also a Derbyshire school cook says, “Inspiration is everywhere inside school from the recent visits to Lower Hurst Farm, baking classes, growing vegetables in the school garden, or collecting eggs from the school chickens. My child is enjoying producing a homework topic, linked to ‘Food for Life. She can present it in any way she sees fit. It can be a model, a fact file, photographs or a film. She can draw a picture or write a story – and, of course, all baked goods are gratefully received!”


Crich Junior School Go To Lower Hurst Farm


Years 5 and 6 on their way to Lower Hurst FarmOn 23rd September, year 5 and 6 went on a school visit to Lower Hurst farm. We went there so that we could learn about the beef which we have in our school lunches.

On the bus I sat next to Alex. I was very excited as my mum had told me about when she went with the Year 3 and 4 pupils to Lower Hurst Farm the day before.

When we arrived at the farm, a lady called Nicki took us to a classroom and gave us some cookies and juice. We put our bags down and walked over to a tractor and trailer. We were going on a trailer ride around the farm.

All the children clamber aboard a trailer to have a ride round the farmWhen we were on the trailer there were two men called Phil and Will who took us up to a field with some cows and an enormous bull! The cows were pedigree Hereford cows and the bull was called Discilla from Scotland. He cost about £3,000 and I thought that was a lot of money. We went to another field to meet a bull called Beckham from Wales and the final bull, from Northern Ireland, was called Liberty. On our way back to the classroom, we sawsome sheep which were Blue faced Leicesters, a fishing hut by the river and three stone statues of a bull, a cow and a shepherd. I thought that the trailer trip was really interesting.



Discilla, the bull on the farm one of three stone statues of bulls on the farm

After our lunch we were split in to two groups. The first group did drawing and colouring and the second group went to see the carcasses and how the organic meatballs and the ‘beefy buttons’ that we eat in school were made. I quite liked the smell of the carcasses, but I think I might have been the only one!

comparing notes on what they had doneFinally we made our own meatballs using the same recipe that is used for our meatballs in school. We used mince, onion (which made our eyes water), oregano, nutmeg, salt, pepper and breadcrumbs. We had to mix the ingredients together really well and then make them in to balls that each weighed exactly 20g. It was great fun making the meatballs and squishing the mixture in our hands.

everyone enjoyed their visit to the farm especially making their own meatballs


At the end of our visit we got back on to the coach and headed back for school. It was a really fun day and I learnt a lot about meat farming and where our school dinners come from. I would definitely recommend it.

By Milly


If you would like to try our School Meat Balls – the recipe is by courtesy of Lower Hurst Farm. It will also be a good workout for your mathematical skills!

Organic Meatball recipe

70% Organic Beef Mince
10.6% Organic Onions
0.5% Organic Parsley
0.2% Organic Basil
0.4% Salt
0.1% Organic Pepper
9.2% Organic Breadcrumbs
9% Water

Our top beef farming facts


Beef comes from cows

  • At Lower Hurst Farm, located just on the edge of Staffordshire the cattle are kept until they are twenty-six months old and then sent to slaughter.
  • A calf weighs up to 80 lbs at birth.
  • Gelatine, made from bones and horns and is used in making jellied sweets, marshmallows, ice cream and photographic film.
  • Today, around 2,200,000 cattle are slaughtered for beef each year.
  • The number of beef breeding cows in the UK is about 1.6 million.•
    Beef fat is called ‘tallow’ and chewing gum is made from this.
  • Cows bones are used for making glue.
  • The calf drinks mother’s milk and eats grass for the first six months.
  • A cow’s diet is mainly grass and hay.
  • Beef is the most popular fresh meat product.
  • Many medicines, including insulin and oestrogen are made from the glands of a cow.
  • Grass fed beef is high in oemaga-39, vitamins A and E, and is lower in fat and calories than conventional beef.

By Harry, Cougen, Isla, Emma and Oliver


Andrew’s Sourdough September Visit


It’s the beginning of our school year and already exciting things are happening.

Andrew Auld from "The Loaf" came along to the school to tell the pupils all about the various types of breadAndrew Auld from ‘The Loaf’ came into school and told us some very interesting facts about bread, but especially sourdough bread. We began our morning with an assembly. Andrew told us about all the different types of flour you can use to make bread, some fine, some course, some white and some brown and the different ways these are milled. We learnt about yeast and how it is made up of good bacteria and fungi. Yeast makes the bread rise, but in sourdough bread a leaven is used rather than yeast.


What is a leaven?


A leaven is an alternative for yeast but you have to grow a leaven before you make sourdough bread and this takes a week. A leaven is made from rye flour, white flour and warm water.

How we made our leaven – this was enough for sixteen loaves.

Put into a mixing bowl:
50g rye flour
150g white flour
200g warm water

Mix all the ingredients together with your hand getting as much air in to the mixture as possible. Transfer the mixture into a large jar or container with a lid (not air tight).

Day 1 – Do nothing to the leaven.
Day 2 – Discard half of the leaven and replace with 100g white flour and 100g warm water. Mix well.
Day 3 – Repeat day 2.
Day 4 & 5 – Do nothing to the mixture but put it into the fridge.
Day 6 – Repeat day 2. You should start to see bubbles appearing in the mixture.
Day 7 – Add 500g white flour and 500g warm water. Leave for 24 hours before your leaven is ready to use.

A week sped by and we were ready to make our bread. The leaven had grown – in fact, it had erupted like a volcano all over the top of the fridge and we got in to trouble with our caretaker, Mrs Gregory! Andrew arrived and we put all our ingredients into a bowl:

550g ciabatta flour
10g salt
300g leaven
300g warm water

In went our hands to mix the sticky, gooey ingredients together, then came the hard work. We kneaded and kneaded and kneaded the dough. After about 15 minutes our hands felt like they were going to fall off. We then left it in the bowl for about 30 minutes to rest and the result was smoothWe took our dough and made a large rectangle, folded it into thirds. Folded it into thirds again, shaped it in to a ball and put it in a special bowl made from pressed paper. It was popped in to the fridge to prove overnight.

The next day we were all invited to The Loaf to bake our bread. Andrew showed us round the bakery and we saw the ovens that the bread was to be baked in. Our bread went inside and 30 minutes later out came our beautiful, brown, freshly baked sourdough – DELICIOUS!

Andrew challenged some of the young bakers at the Loaf to come up with some interesting flavours for Sourdough September. Cheese, raisins and sundried tomatoes were amongst some of the ideas – perhaps you tasted some of them?

We seemed to be kneading the dough for hours Andrew Auld showing some of the children how to get the dough ready for baking at "The Loaf" All that hard work paid off and the pupils were justly proud of their loaves

Now we would like to challenge you–

Can you come up with an interesting take on the sourdough loaf? We will be holding our own ‘Sourdough Bake Off’ on Tuesday 16th December and our very own Paul Hollywood, Andrew from The Loaf will be judging! Please bring your bread into school for 9.00 a.m. We will be announcing the winner at the Christmas Bazaar on the same day between 3.00 p.m. and 4.30 p.m.

By Jack, Amelia, Lydia and Holly


Last year our ‘Mince Pie Bake Off’ was won by Mrs Glover (staff entry) and Estelle Cumberworth (pupil entry).

Mrs Glover with her prize for her champion mince pies Estelle Cumberworth with her prize for her delicious mince pies


Here is Mrs Glover’s award winning mince pie recipe –


375g plain flour
250g softened butter
125g castor sugar
1 medium egg

Rub flour, butter, sugar and egg together with a splash of cold water until it just comes together to make a dough. Wrap in cling film and chill.

175g currants
175g raisins
175g sultanas
1 small bag cranberries
1 small cooking apple
125g butter cubed
5og Chopped Nuts
25g light muscovado sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 pot glacé cherries
1 tsp mixed spice
Grated rind & juice of 1 lemon
200ml brandy

Place all ingredients into a large pan (apart from the brandy). Heat gently, simmer for ten minutes. Allow to cool and stir in the brandy. Spoon into sterilised jars (3 – 4 jars).

Store for a few weeks before using.

Line greased patty tins with pastry, fill with mincemeat, top with pastry and cook in a hot oven for about 10 minutes until lightly browned.


Mr Phil Interview


Why Mr Phil is always popularMr Coleman, better known to the pupils as Mr Phil, works in school as our dinner server. I think when Mr Phil started working at the school we were all expecting a lady server, so we all thought it was great when he arrived at our school. I did an interview with Mr Phil to ask him about working in school and this is what he had to say–

How long have you worked at Crich Junior School?

“I have worked here for three years and the time has really flown by.”

Do you enjoy working here?

“I enjoy everything about my job, but sweeping the floors at the end of dinner is my least favourite bit.”

What is your favourite school dinner?

“I really like the beefy buttons that we have.”

If you weren’t a dinner server, what would you do?

“I am also a lollipop man in the morning and afternoon, so all of my jobs are school based.”

These are some of our thoughts about Mr Phil:

By Alex


Childcare – Apple Crumble!


We like to cook at Childcare, and recently we made lovely individual apple crumbles to take home with us for our tea, using apples from our school orchard. First of all we had to wash our hands. We then cut up some apples and put them in to our dishes. To make the crumble we mixed flour and butter until the butter was ‘rubbed in’. Then we added some sugar to the mixture which we added on top of the apples. We took our apple crumbles home with us to cook for 30/40 minutes in the oven before we ate them! They were yummy!

“It was fantastic! I liked cutting the apple and mixing the crumble.” – Libby

“It was fun. I enjoyed all of it.” – Tasarla May

“I enjoyed making the crumble mixture.” – Olly

“I liked it. The best bit was cutting theapples.” – Ashley

“I liked putting in the sugar. Can we do more cooking?” – Sophie


Family School Beefy Button Dinner


On Monday the 5th October, we held a Beefy Button lunch where parents were invited to join their children for a school dinner. This was following our visit to Lower Hurst Farm, where we saw how the cattle were bred and raised and then how their meat was turned into the Beefy Buttons that we eat in school.

We thought it would be great to show mums, dads, grans and granddads how yummy school dinners are. We ate lovely beefy buttons with beans, peas and perfectly baked potatoes. Desert arrived in the form of chocolate crunch!

Ellie says “It was a bit different having mum in for lunch, but I was pleased she came.” Dan added “Mum said it was lovely and good to look at the farm pictures too on the screen.”

Everyone loved it and we want to do it again.

By James, Daniel and Ellie

From the smiles on their faces these mums and children certainly enjoyed their meals at the school You can't ask more than a clean plate to see how good the meal was


Locally Sourced Family Breakfast


Our annual family breakfast this year was based on our continuing work for our ‘Food for Life’ Project. This year our menu was locally sourced. Rosemary infused bread from ‘The Loaf’, smoked back bacon from Crich Butchers and eggs from our school chickens.

Andrew Auld from The Loaf recently came into school to tell us all about bread. Harry, a year 5 pupil, asked him what his favourite bread was and he told us that his treat for the week was to take home a Rosemary Filone when he had finished baking on a Saturday and to have a smoked bacon sandwich with it. That was the inspiration for our breakfast menu and Andrew very kindly made this into rolls for us to use at our breakfast.

A lot of our children wanted to know why Andrew chose to become a baker and he told us that as a little boy, growing up on a farm in Yorkshire, his mum was always baking cakes and bread and he loved to help her in the kitchen. His mum inspired him to become a baker, so when he and Roger opened The Loaf Bakery in Crich it was a dream come true.

Our family breakfast was extremely well attended and the food was superb. Another triumph for an exhausted but happy Mrs Coppen!

You can see our ‘Family Breakfast’ blog on our school website:

By Archie, Millie and Noah


Spaced Out – Part 4


Following up from our last Mars Rover article, we can now signpost you, if interested, to the film produced by the Institute of Engineering and Technology at


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