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Lifelong (and lockdown) learning is good for the soul!

Monday, 29th March 2021

This week my adult cake dec learners and I had a discussion about how developing their skills in lockdown has helped with their overall wellbeing.

One learner Natalie decided that she would make cakes for every occasion in her family’s life (and a few extras!). Each one she used different skills relating to the awarding body criteria. As a group we had long discussions and WhatsApp’s, as well as the online lessons.  

This developed a real support system for each other, which definitely helped with all our mental wellbeing. We felt  respect had grown for everyone’s knowledge, opinions  and skills. And we had a 2nd ‘support bubble’. 

Natalie also said concentrating on the new skills when self-isolating made her feel less cut off from the world (being a long distance runner this was hard for her).  

Kathryn also set herself challenges: she took the set criteria and extended the skills to gain the most from her course. Kathryn said part of the reason was she liked being busy, getting into a project, and it became a work routine.

What it made us realise is setting ourselves goals, targets and structure to the days when in lockdown was important. It was also ‘me’ time, some of my learners had large families (children, and adults!) living, being home-schooled and working at home; they felt like they were operating full on cafes 24-7 at times: time away to create and study was a life-saver. Point also made is that learning is so important, you are never too old and keeping your mind active is so important for wellbeing. 

As much as we enjoyed the lockdown lessons coming back to college was like a reunion! 

We had a discussion on experiences of lockdown learning, online lessons etc and the general consensus was that whilst we achieved and it was better than no learning; nothing really beats face to face when learning a skill based subject. Demonstrating online I found my ruler was my best friend! (I have a nifty size guide where you roll balls of paste to ensure arms/heads etc on models are the same size….unfortunately this was in my desk at college…..). 

Kathryn and Natalie also said they would recommend Brooklands to anybody wishing to learn sugarcraft as it is a holistic experience; you learn all the cake ‘disciplines’ rather than selected skills. 

I have added pictures of what they and others achieved in lockdown. I think you will agree it is spectacular! 

– Sue, Hospitality & Catering lecturer

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Heath Road, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 8TT

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