Pupils from Dearne Advanced Learning Centre, at Goldthorpe near Rotherham, enjoyed two days of fishing-themed fun, thanks to the national Fishing for Schools scheme.

The Fishing for Schools Derbyshire and Yorkshire team and local chef Ben Atkinson challenged the pupils to a MasterChef style cook off on the first day (6 July) with Year Seven pupils creating dishes including mackerel burgers, a whole baked fish and Thai fish broth.

Chef Ben, who until recently worked at the Spencer Arms in Cawthorne, Barnsley, said: “I started my career in Cornwall so I have a lot of experience cooking fish. I brought in lots of different types of fish to teach them how to make things that were out of the ordinary but that they could recreate at home. It was brilliant how they got stuck in and really enjoyed it – working with fish and vegetables some of them had not even seen before.”

Then it was off to Press Manor Fishery near Matlock, Derbyshire on the Friday for the youngsters to try their hands at fly tying, knots and casting and then angling.

Fishing for Schools instructor Ben Fox of Huddersfield, who is a member of the Team England Youth Fly Fishing team, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed taking them fishing. At 17 I am not that much older than them and I think they saw my England shirt and were encouraged to ask me questions about how you get into fishing and get good enough to fish for your country.”

Fishing for Schools founder and director Charles Jardine said: “This is one of the first events held by the new Yorkshire and Derbyshire Fishing for Schools group and we are delighted it was at Dearne ALC. I was so impressed by the bright energetic attitudes of the students and the incredible quality of the work produced – it was one of the most enjoyable courses I have been part of in the 10 years of Fishing for Schools.”

Fishing for Schools is a charitable project administered by the Countryside Alliance Foundation. It offers short fishing courses that fit into the school curriculum offering an alternative way of learning that fires children’s imaginations.