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School Easter Cake Competition

(15 Posts)
Happymummy007 Mon 21-Mar-16 09:50:20

Today is our annual Easter cake competition at school. Over the weekend, DD baked and decorated her own cake to take into school today. The only part I helped with was taking it in and out of the oven. She did absolutely everything else on her own. I am very, very proud of her.

We took the cake into school for judging this morning. The cakes will be judged, prizes awarded, and then sold for charity at the end of the day. I think it's a great idea, and hopefully will raise a good sum for the chosen charity. BUT - when we took our DD's contribution into school, the cakes on display were, quite frankly, astonishing. I'm vaguely surprised that none of them included a string quartet playing Beethoven, or had a mini roller coaster circling the beautifully shaped egg castles complete with turrets and working drawbridge.

OK, so I'm exaggerating. But I do think it's a shame that even a cake competition can become so competitive that the parents (some of whom, I have no doubt, have links to artisan patisseries and the like), have to get involved to build such fantastic creations just so they can win.

There isn't really any point to this post, other than to let off steam, and to ask if anyone can recommend a good book which teaches an under 10 year old how to build the Hanging Gardens of Babylon out of sugar, before next year's competition.

NynaevesSister Mon 21-Mar-16 09:59:27

The judges really should be looking for cakes that clearly had too much parental involvement!

irvine101 Mon 21-Mar-16 10:02:25

Well done for your DD.
I am sure they are aware which one are actually made by a child and which ones are done by competitive parents!

noramum Mon 21-Mar-16 10:06:26

We had this with a fruit display. It came out the winner's mother is Asian, working in the food industry and her hobby is carving animals/flowers/whatever out of fruit.

While a lovely display it was clear that is wasn't a Reception child's work. The judges didn't look for a child's display, the winner was the most impressive one.

TeenAndTween Mon 21-Mar-16 13:15:50

I'm on a PTA (don't shoot me).

We try to ensure that it is child made creations that win, and/or make sure we have different categories of prizes so children who have done their entries without help can still win something.

Vanimal Mon 21-Mar-16 13:20:37

It came out the winner's mother is Asian

What an odd comment to make. I'm Asian (more specifically, Indian), we don't all I don't carve flowers into fruit?

I'm also on the PTA and wish I could carve flowers out of fruit

starry0ne Mon 21-Mar-16 13:28:47

We have a poster competition for PSA for school fairs...

I was told when I was shocked my DS won... A teacher said they take out all the ones the parents have obviously done and then look at effort.. I think this is a great way of judging IMO... Hope you DD's school do the same

Happymummy007 Mon 21-Mar-16 13:45:52

Thank you everyone. At least we're not alone then.

I shall find out at pick-up this afternoon how her cake has been judged. There did seem to be a very clear distinction between those (the few) made and decorated by the children, and the rest (and majority) made by mummy. I'd love to think that the school would take this into account, but we shall see ... At least our DD knows how proud we are of her, and that her efforts are going to be helping a charity too.

NynaevesSister Mon 21-Mar-16 13:58:52

Ha ha ha TeenAndTween that's cracked me up because our PTA has categories like that, and the year my husband did my son's entry for him it won the no-parent help category! We keep that rosette on the shelf smile

Witchend Mon 21-Mar-16 14:16:57

It irritates me when clearly parent made things won. Actually it also irritates me when the winner of fancy dress is a shop bought one.

My experience at primary though is it does tend to vary. Sometimes the person judging clearly removes all parental help (issue is then occasionally getting it wrong. I remember entering a local contest of make a soft toy and overhearing a heated discussion by someone who wanted to remove my entry as "it was obviously done by a parent". I had had absolutely no assistance at all. Nor was it actually that good grin)
Sometimes they'll give it to the one with the clearly made by a talented parent.

I eventually worked out my strategy was to ask the dc their plan. Slightly suggest jazzing it up to making it stand out with a few slightly different ideas, and then leave them to do it.
Was surprisingly successful for a non-artistic family!

Leeds2 Mon 21-Mar-16 14:17:58

That made me laugh, Nynaeve!

If I were judging, I would choose the ones that had clearly been made by the children.

fredfredgeorgejnrsnr Mon 21-Mar-16 14:44:02

How do you know they were done by parents? (I'll ignore your "mummy", as it's not nearly as offensive as the Asian one...)

Junior bake off shows lots of kids who do extremely good jobs, better than most adult work, and while some of these kids are over 10, the show does have 9 year olds on it, my first example was these cupcakes:

Parental involvement cannot be a constant in these competitions anyway, even if you only take it in and out of the oven, you still are able to provide an oven, ingredients, an environment conducive to cooking, the training up until now such that they can be independant etc.

If other parents also provide assistance in the activity that their kids need, baking an easter cake from scratch without any previous training is pretty tough - baking with some kids even if it leads to a higher standard, and I'm not convinced you could really tell the difference as NynaevesSister and witchend have suggested.

Lunar1 Mon 21-Mar-16 15:13:46

Dh is Asian, I'll get the fruit ready for when he gets home. confused

KimmySchmidtsSmile Mon 21-Mar-16 15:24:15


So my DD's primary head could be frankly a bit of an arse sure he speaks very highly of me BUT when it came to competitions he always, without fail, picked the sloppiest one. One year this happened to be my DD's easter bonnet. The one we had forgotten to do. The one which consisted of me yelling at quarter past eight "just cut out that bunny you painted last week, I'll staple it onto the straw hat" while DD looked like this hmm
It was...unique. Had a brown paint slodge "bunny" one side and yellow paint slodge "chick" on t'other, with a couple of dead daffodil either side.
She came out of school grin from ear to ear as she had won an easter egg.
Seeing me look like this shock ht winked and said clearly it was all her own work wink

irvine101 Mon 21-Mar-16 15:47:42

It's difficult to judge, as fred and kimmy suggests.
My ds made a beautiful picture of fireworks in reception. He spent days cutting out hundreds of small pieces of coloured paper and stuck one by one on to the black card paper to form fireworks. The end project was so beautiful. But he never even got anything near winning the competition. The one won the prizes looked like it was done definitely by a child. That changed, once they knew his ability.
So, I think teachers may have an idea which children could be capable, and which isn't definitely made by the child?

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