Staff and students at a Chesham school brushed shoulders with baking royalty Mary Berry, as she opened a new food technology room for the school’s 70th anniversary celebrations.

The star greeted hundreds of pupils at Chesham Grammar School who study food technology, from Year 7 through to GCSE, on Wednesday last week.

As she unveiled a plaque to commemorate the opening, Mary told students to be inspired by the new space and to “take it seriously”, as they would find cooking skills “essential” throughout their lives.

She also passed on helpful baking tips to Year 11 students who were cooking during her visit.

Head teacher Annmarie McNaney said: “It was wonderful to have Mary at CGS to open our Food Technology kitchen.

“She inspired and enthused those she met and her key message, that learning to cook is hugely important, is one which resonates with us.

“Our students follow an academic curriculum but each and every one of them will have learnt to cook a wide range of dishes by the time they go to university, so we see it as helping to prepare them for life.

“Who better than the queen of baking herself to reinforce this to the students?”

Before she left, Mary judged the ‘CGS Everyone Get Baking’ cake competition, declaring Year 10 pupil Sophie Engelbretson’s cake shaped and decorated as the new kitchen as the winner, from more than 100 entries.

Matthew Barnett and Lily Redman were given second and third places. Mary congratulated all the entrants and said that she was “hugely impressed” by the creativity of the students.