Students of Hotel Management School Maastricht regularly provide information at secondary schools in the Netherlands and abroad. They talk to school-leavers, whom they inform about the possibilities at Hotel Management School Maastricht. But this time Vincent Voermans, Julian Barnhoorn, Sarah Bopp and Jorg van den Heuvel had a very special group in front of them: students of year 7 and 8 of primary school IMC in Heerlen.
IMC Basis is a program of the IMC Weekend School that integrates socially-oriented education at primary schools in neighbourhoods where it is most needed. Pupils of these schools have fewer role models in their environment and a smaller range of activities to discover and wherein to develop their talents. These pupils are taught every week during school hours by enthusiastic guest teachers. Together with the guest teachers, pupils experience and discover different fields of study, such as journalism, medicine, politics, and catering. These different disciplines are explored by working as much as possible with 'the real work': the emphasis during the guest lectures is on doing and experiencing things yourself. The pupils carry out activities that are lifelike and characteristic of the field of study. Our students have been responsible for three afternoons and would like to share their experience.
First, we met the pupils of IMC Basis. It was such a special experience to work with these young children! We spoke about working together, showing initiative, listening to each other and how you can reach a joint decision. After that, we started to work; we simulated a banqueting room. We set up and explained several room arrangements. So lugging around with tables and chairs, discussions, and a lot of fun. In the end, there was a perfect meeting room! During the etiquette workshop, the students were explained about table manners, social behaviour, and hospitality etiquette. We held a brainstorming session and did a role-play. Pupils learned how to tie a tie, what a joy!
The second guest lecture was dedicated to what is happening in the front office and the housekeeping department. After a short presentation on the different functions, we played role-plays regarding the reception desk of a hotel. The students were able to play all the roles: the receptionist, a guest, the bellman, and the concierge. After each game, we discussed what the pupils had noticed.
Then we started with an exercise about the housekeeping department. At the Teaching Hotel Chateau Bethlehem, we had taken photos and created situations in a room that wasn’t quite right. So we always had a correct and incorrect picture. The pupils discussed both situations together.
On the last Friday, we welcomed the students of IMC Basis to the Hotel Management School Maastricht. The pupils learned, watched and worked in Restaurant Refresh, the kitchen and the hotel. First, they got a tour at Teaching Hotel Chateau Bethlehem. A special experience for all pupils to see a historic and working hotel. The workshops of the past two weeks have of course become even more telling.
After the tour, the real work started. The first group of pupils were allowed to cover part of the restaurant. They practiced walking with plates, glasses and a trays. The other group started in the kitchen, where they provided the mise & place for the dish. Everyone was given a task and delicious falafel- and chicken burger were prepared. At the end of the afternoon, we had dinner together and enjoyed the homemade burgers at the beautifully covered tables.
At the farewell and a short evaluation, all students were enthusiastic and the profession of cook proved to be the most popular. We would like to thank the students and teachers of IMC Basis for these three special afternoons and we hope to have been inspiring about the varied and skilful professions of the Hospitality Industry!
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