Tuesday 22nd November was no ordinary school day for Enniskillen Royal Grammar pupil, Sophie Coalter, daughter of Helen and Norman. Sophie’s day started with a journey to Belfast International airport with her Home Economics teacher, Mrs Heather Kettyle, to catch the first flight to London. Sophie and Mrs Kettyle had been invited to attend the British Nutrition Foundation’s (BNF) Annual Day where Sophie was to collect the BNF Drummond Education Award.
Early in the autumn term Miss Armstrong, Principal of Enniskillen Royal Grammar School, had shared the good news with the school community that Sophie had been placed first in Northern Ireland in GCSE (CCEA) Home Economics. As a result of this achievement, Sophie’s name had been put forward for consideration for the Drummond Education Award, which is presented by the BNF to students from across the UK for outstanding work in food and nutrition. In addition, the Foundation recognises and rewards the hard work by the student’s teacher.
Once in London, Sophie and Mrs Kettyle enjoyed breakfast in the Savoy Hotel; justifying this treat as being part of the Home Economics curriculum! All too soon it was time to leave the opulence of the Savoy and travel to the edge of Regent Park to the Royal College of Physicians where the BNF were hosting a reception and luncheon in the Long and Osler Room for their award recipients, trustees, staff and stakeholders. After lunch and The Loyal Toast, Mrs Judith Batchelar OBE, Director of Sainsbury’s Brand, addressed the audience on recent trends and developments in the agri-food industry. The gathering then proceeded to the Wolfson Theatre and very promptly at 2.30pm, the scheduled time for the awards ceremony, the audience were hushed and asked to be upstanding to welcome the BNF President who was none other than HRH Princess Anne who then made the presentations to Sophie and Mrs Kettyle.
The event ended with a lecture on ‘Omega 3-the good oil’ but focus was difficult to maintain with Princess Anne sitting a few feet away!
Still only being 4.30 in the afternoon, despite the action already packed in, Sophie and Mrs Kettyle headed off to view the Christmas lights in Regent Street and Oxford Street before travelling back to Stansted for the last flight to Belfast. Definitely, a school day with a difference!
Mrs Kettyle commented that ‘despite the Home Economics department having had a GCSE pupil placed within the top three in Northern Ireland in five out of the last seven years this award at national level was a first for the department.’ She went on to say that this accolade was well-deserved and came about as a result of Sophie’s enthusiasm and hard work in partnership with the members of the Home Economics department: she acknowledged too the support of Sophie’s parents in the winning recipe for success.