In an innovative move the catering department at Castlebrae Community High School invite you to use their facilities and hold your next meeting or event there.

They will cater for you, whether it is afternoon tea, canapés or lunch in their Castlebrae kitchen at the school. School students will serve up what you order and they will clear up afterwards too.

This will help them raise vital funds for the department, and will give the students a wider range of experience.

The Edinburgh Reporter was invited along to Castlebrae with around a dozen others to try out their curry at lunchtime today, and it was a splendid meal served by splendid serving staff who are learning ‘on the job’.

All of the pupils had a hand in preparing the lunch as well as setting the tables, serving and clearing. While they are still learning about hospitality, they do already have some experience.

Each week the students led by their teacher Rosie Ali, provide a paid for lunch for staff which they serve at a table set up in their catering department, or indeed deliver to individual members of staff who might be running lunchtime classes. On Fridays they provide breakfast for all staff. The money raised is ploughed back into the department to provide ingredients for the next week’s lunch and for other projects.

This school was under threat of closure some years ago, but now Education Scotland’s last report mentions increased attendance levels and specifically that ‘There was a calm purposeful atmosphere in the school.’ Numbers of pupils at intake in earlier years appear to be on the increase, and a site is earmarked for a new school to be built nearer the Craigmillar Library.

Part of the reason for the improvement is that Headteacher Norma Prentice is very big on making partnership arrangements to make improvements for learners and staff alike.

One of the biggest partnerships was forged in 2015 with Edinburgh International Festival. Pupils have been to workshops at The Hub and EIF has definitely come to them since the three year arts residency was established.

On 19 and 20 August 2017 two performances of hip-hop superstars Boy Blue Entertainment’s new show Project R.E.B.E.L. were presented at the school. Castlebrae pupils were involved in all aspects of the show from running the venue to welcoming those attending and cueing the lights. The First Minister was one of those who came to the preview of the show.

As well as this there are other partnerships with John Lewis plc and with Columba 1400 as evidenced by those invited to lunch today.

Now Mrs Prentice and her staff are seeking other partnerships with any organisation who can help them from anywhere in the city. Mrs Ali told us that they have three cookers in their main catering area which simply do not work. They really need new cookers to allow them to use their kitchen space more effectively..

Funding would be welcome but help in kind might be useful too.

Can you help? Get in touch with her at the school. Contact details below.

Castlebrae Community High School 2aGreendykes Road EH164DP

t 0131 661 1282 e admin@castlebrae.edin.sch