On Tuesday 18th April schools gathered at Ascot Racecourse for the final of the Ascot & 1711 Bake-Off competition. This annual event brought together winning teams from 8 local schools who had designed, created, baked and decorated their own Coronation Tray Bake. Each team attending the final had already won the heats delivered in school to secure their place in the Final, so they were already winners in their own rights! 
The theme this year was the King’s Coronation, and the challenge was to create a Tray Bake to celebrate this prestigious occasion, using locally sourced ingredients. Each team also created a team mood board showing their journey from sourcing, to design, decoration and naming of their creation. 
Students from Holy Trinity Primary School, Trevelyan Middle School, St Francis Catholic School, Cranbourne Primary School, Altwood Secondary School, Slough & Eton School, Churchmead School and Oakbank School all came together to compete for the overall winners of the Junior and Senior Ascot & 1711 Bake-Off Champion for 2023. 
The entries from all schools were exceptional and the Judges were in for a very difficult time trying to decide who would walk away champions for 2023. 
Judges for the event were Gemma Amor, Executive Chef at Ascot Racecourse, James Tanner, Chef and TV Personality and Jonathan Parker, Director of Food & Beverage for Ascot Racecourse. All 3 came to the panel with a wealth of experience and a real passion and excitement for the competition. 
Students set up their exhibition tables ready to showcase their entries ahead of the judges making their way round to meet and spend time with each team to hear first-hand about their creation, how they had gone about sourcing local produce and to see how they had captured this journey on their team mood board, an oh yes not forgetting the tasting of each carefully thought out traybake. 
The stakes were high as the winning team from each category not only walked away with the kudos of knowing they had won, they were also going to walk away knowing their creation would be appearing on the menu of the Summer Mile Family Raceday on Saturday 15th July this year, such am amazing prize! 
While the judges deliberated over their notes and score sheets and discussed at great length between themselves who should be awarded winner status for each category, the students were invited to hear more about the racecourse by Caroline Hawkins before participating in a Q& A session with James Tanner and Gemma Amor. 
It was announcement time and the buzz and atmosphere in the room was super exciting as Jonathan Parker took center stage to announce the outcome decided unanimously by the judging team. 
Winner of the Ascot & 1177 Bake-Off Competition was Cranbourne Primary School, comprising of Sienna Spreadborough, Quincy Ewards and Charlie Sloan who baked their “Crownbourne Cake” 
Winner of the Ascot & 1711 Bake-Off Competition was Churchmead School, comprising of Ben Harrington, Maisy Coxhill and Charlotte Wake who baked the “Coronation Sensation” 
To further celebrate our winning teams both Cranbourne Primary and Churchmead Secondary received a box of goodies to enhance the equipment in the food tech departments. 
Runners up of the Senior category were Altwood School, Florence McGuckian, Tom Griffin and Rebecca Holyoak-Loyd who created their “British Botanical Cake” 
Runners up of the Junior category were St. Francis, Conor Furey, Mathew Saunders and Leo Jones who created their “Blue Surprise” 
Following the winners being announced, prizes were awarded, and certificates handed out, students, staff and parents enjoyed an Afternoon Tea fit for a King! 
To bring the event to a close guests were treated to a tour of Ascot before heading off. 
Quotes received: 
“A superb example of what good teamwork can produce. The children have raised the bar again with some fabulous bakes” Jonathan Parker, Director of Food & Beverage at Ascot Racecourse. 
“Very high standard and great creativity celebrating local produce and of course King Charles” James Tanner, Chef/TV personality. 
“Exceptional bakes with outstanding teamwork and can only look forward to the future with such young talent” Gemma Amor, Executive Chef at Ascot Racecourse. 
“We are extremely honored and still shocked that we have won today. There were some amazing entries, and we are super excited to have received the tickets for the family day” Benjamin Harrington, Maisy Ella Coxhill and Charlottle May Wake, Year 7 Churchmead School. 
“We are so proud of our Cranbourne children who have upheld our values of teamwork and perseverance during this bake-off challenge. The children enjoyed researching our new King and finding out about his passion for the environment and love of nature, which was reflected in their cake. They used this inspiration and linked it to our school garden, which encourages our children’s green fingers and supports their mental well-being.” Lara Prentice – Deputy Headteacher, Kate Edmunds – Teaching Assistant & Self Esteem Lead. 
“We had such a wonderful day and I wanted to thank you and your team for putting together such a fabulous experience for the children. The three we brought along, and their parents, thoroughly enjoyed the things you had laid on. They found the opportunity to present their tray bake and talk about the process of getting to this stage very exciting especially given the profile of the judges. 
It wasn't just the children who went along, though, that benefitted. From the very start of the process our Year 5 class who were set the project have gained valuable skills in creativity, working together and presenting. The element of competition and knowing that there was a real purpose to the learning served to motivate and engage all in a way that led to outstanding outcomes. They have enjoyed diving into the world of work with the project opening up opportunities which they hadn't considered before.” Anne Smith, Head Teacher Holy Trinity Primary School. 
“Learning to Work are thrilled to once again be working with the Ascot Racecourse and 1711 team to bring this wonderful activity to local students. The best way to learn new skills, develop great communication, meet new people and feel confident in presenting is in a fun environment engaging in an equally fun activity, and the Ascot 1711 Bake-Off competition meets each of these criteria, applied learning at its best! The students have been fantastic, and it has been great to invite parents along too, allowing them to see firsthand the creativity, presenting ability and culinary skills of their children.” Nancy Lalor Operations Director Learning to Work. 
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