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Students from Fairfield Farm College in Wilshire have been getting creative during lockdown, taking part in a Virtual Bake Off. Students cooked up a variety of delicious chocolate chip mug cakes, before taking to Zoom to judge each other’s creations. Everyone taking part thoroughly enjoyed themselves, with Holly, one of the participants, commenting, “I enjoyed making my mug cake, it was delicious.”

This is just one of many online activities that students have been enjoying as part of their virtual learning programme during the latest lockdown. Fairfield Farm College offers predominantly vocational lessons for students with learning disabilities, covering areas such as hospitality, catering, retail, horticulture, animal management and equine studies. While offering these lessons online has been a challenge for both the teachers and students, the team has risen to the occasion, developing a variety of new ways to interact and enjoy a shared learning experience.

Ester with her entries for the bake off competition

“As we headed into a third lockdown, it was essential that we delivered high quality education that could be accessed equally by those undertaking remote education and those on the college site,” said tutor Holly Worts

“The bake off offers these opportunities for all learners, and encompasses several key areas of learning as students practise real life maths and English skills through weighing and time, following verbal and written instructions, listening and sequencing skills.

“On top of this, the sessions are tremendous fun for all involved – many learners have continued to use the recipes and ideas outside of session times, plus much cake has been eaten!”

The judging for the bake off took place over Zoom

Students at the college have been attending their timetables as closely as possible, using a blend of face-to-face sessions using Zoom, supported by independent tasks to keep up with their learning. Nearly 50% of students continue to attend on site but for those that are shielding, Zoom enables them to keep in touch with their classmates, which is of vital importance during lockdown.