Canteen cooks up skills

Caboolture Special School students Manuel Lipsanos, Rebecca Ison and Courtney Panell with teacher Kaye McGaughey.
Caboolture Special School students Manuel Lipsanos, Rebecca Ison and Courtney Panell with teacher Kaye McGaughey. Vicki Wood/sca151112tuckshop

IF there was a title awarded for tuckshop queen Kaye McGaughey would take the cake.

For 12 years Kaye has led the charge at the Caboolture Special School tuckshop introducing key programs including a barista program and soup kitchen, to engage students.

Earlier this month the school was recognised as a unique model for tuckshop operation.

The students operate this venture as part of their hospitality training.

The school was awarded Special School Tuckshop of the Year by the Queensland Association of School Tuckshops.

Kaye has supervised the program for many years and students take on further post school positions and training in the community.

"When I started at the school it was just a tiny little tuckshop," Kaye said. "As the school grew it became a work experience program.

"Since then I've come up with programs that suit the capabilities of the students."

As part of the program the students grow vegetables for use in the tuckshop.

Pumpkins and tomatoes have been a big producer this year.

The school's entry in the competition showed how the students work from the "garden to the table", producing foods such as pumpkin soup for sale to the school community at lunch times.

A recent addition to the tuckshop has been the barista training.

The students prepare special treats to go with the coffee and are always happy to have community members come in and try their ever changing menu.

The enterprise comes under the school's tuckshop name: "Taste on Torrens" and has quickly become a popular feature on Fridays.

Students learn skills that will equip them for their future life in the community.

"I think we have a fun working environment," Kaye said. "We learn and cook things that the kids can do at home.

"I've got students that will go home and cook mum and dad dinner.

"It's the pleasure they get out of knowing they can do it themselves."

Kaye joined school captain Sean Mills and vice-captain Chloe Archer to receive the award from QAST president Cindy Donald and Mark Campling, assistant director-general, State Schooling Implementation.

The school motto: "For Life We Learn" was recognised in the award with the dedication and hard work of staff and students.

This is the first year that the Qld Association of School Tuckshops (QAST) has had a category for Special Schools and the award was shared with Pine Rivers Special School.

Topics:  tuckshop

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