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12 December 2020

Posted by Beth McKeeman/Tabby Hayward


11-14 group - 13 attending (both groups combined: 24 attending)
15-18 group - 6 attending (both groups combined: 11 attending)

Ready, steady, bake!

Today, we joined forces with Mayflower Young Writers for the Great Christmas Bake Off!

Up first was the signature challenge. The purpose of the signature challenge is to take something simple and put your own ‘cookie cutter stamp’ on it. In the show this would be something like brownies with a different flavouring; for our young writers it was describing a Christmas tree. Beth  sent them off on their challenge with a few suggestions for twists, and they all came back with totally unique ideas!
Next up was the technical challenge, a task designed with specificity to push contestants. Susmita ‘present’-ed Diamante poems and the ‘ingredients’ to create synonym and Antonym Diamantes. What’s fun about these poems is that they’re in the shape of diamonds, or baubles. Picking a winter or Christmas theme, the writers set about creating poems in this format:

Adjective, adjective
Verb (ing), verb (ing), verb (ing)
Noun, noun, noun, noun
Verb (ing), verb (ing), verb (ing)
Adjective, adjective

The twist with Antonym Diamantes is that the first and last words are opposites and so the middle line of noun’s has to change the direction of the poem, whilst keeping the poem a cohesive piece, whereas with Synonym Diamantes the first and last words belong together.
Finally, the showstopper, the pièce de résistance. What Christmas is complete without the John Lewis advert? I shared the 2013 advert Bear and Hare to provide inspiration for the task of creating our own John Lewis Christmas adverts. At this point we broke out into smaller ‘tents’ to discuss ideas. When most professional writers rooms are not limited to less than ten minutes, they should all start quaking in their snow boots because the pitches coming out of today were tree-mendous! #Justice4KevinCarrot

It was an un-fir-getable time, and hopefully we’ll be able to join up for more activities in the future. Everyone had a good time, even if there was a war brewing in G1 over Groot and Hedwig, a crossover I never expected. Special mention goes to Viv, our friend at the Mayflower Engage Team, who we asked to chose star bakers. It turns out it was easier bread than done, there were so many amazing pieces in G1 that no one could be singled out. You’re all the zest! As for G2, congratulations to Thomas for being the star baker of the signature challenge, Louise in the technical challenge, and Lilia in the showstopper. A standing oven-ation to you and a round of apple-sauce to everyone.

(Thanks to Beth for all the puns and brilliant creativity in this week's blog!)

Here are some examples below of all the brilliant work!

Safir Signature Challenge

Lilia Showstopper

Erin Showstopper

Naomi Signature Challenge

Thomas Signature Challenge

Sam Technical Challenge

Hannah Technical Challenge

Lily Technical Challenge

Andy Technical Challenge

Kira Showstopper

Eleanor Showstopper


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