Lockdown and Home Schooling: Umaynah (aged 11)


This is Umaynah’s third ‘Lockdown Challenge’, completed as she was about to return to school. She has put a lot of effort into this. I thought I knew a lot about Dorset but clearly not as much as Umaynah. The challenge was set around a tea towel I was given by Vanessa; it belonged to her late mother and it is of Dorset. I have enjoyed Umaynah’s ‘Lockdown Challenges’ and am quite sad that, with her return to school, they will probably be over (although I am happy to accept any more in the future). Here is her story:

“My latest Lockdown Challenge came in three parts: the first part of the Challenge was to make some Corfe Rock cakes. The second part of the Challenge was to write 15 facts about Dorset, where the Corfe Rock Cakes originated from. The third part of the Challenge was to write about the first two parts.

I am not a fan of fruit cakes but I was happy to make the cakes for the Challenge, and my family did like them. I have taken a picture of each step throughout the process of making the cakes. This was a very simple recipe to follow. I did not need lots of equipment or fancy baking trays which means there was not a lot of cleaning and washing up to do!

These are the ingredients to make the Corfe Rock cake

This is after all the dry ingredients were mixed together

This is after the wet ingredients were mixed in with the dry ingredients and rolled into balls

Cooked Corfe Rock Cakes (and I would have to say that they are perfectly formed, neatly rounded Corfe Rock Cakes, better than I have seen before)

The next thing I did was to find out 15 facts about Dorset, which are listed below:

  • Dorset is a county in south-west England
  • Some of the tourist attractions in Dorset are: Poole, Corfe Castle, Weymouth and the Jurassic Coast
  • Dorset is famous for lots of different things: Britain’s first Fossil Shop, the oldest Post Box in England and one of the world’s hottest chillies called the Dorset Naga chillies!!
  • Some of Dorset’s traditional food is Dorset Blue Vinney Cheese, Dorset Apple Cake, Dorset Knob and seafood
  • In Dorset there is a castle called Corfe Castle. The first stone was laid 1000 years ago. Since the castle was built, there have been many battles. The Keep was built in the early 12th century for King Henry I, William the Conqueror’s son.
  • Dorset’s flag has a yellow background and a white cross which has a red outline
  • The bendiest road in England is in Dorset!
  • The tongue-twister “She sells sea-shells on the seashore. The shells she sells are sea-shells, I’m sure. For if she sells sea-shells on the seashore then I’m sure she sells seashore shells” was inspired by the fossil lover, and founder of the first Fossil Shop, Mary Anning.
  • Over 2000 ice creams are sold in Dorset every day
  • Some events that happen in Dorset are: Castaway Survival Challenge, Weymouth Ironman 70.3 and the Dorset Dirt Dash. Most of these events will be cancelled this year because of the pandemic.
  • The population of Dorset is around 426,500
  • The area of Dorset is 2653 km square
  • The first Unidentified Flying Object ever seen in the sky of Britain was recorded on 8 December 1733 in Fleet, Dorset
  • In 1997, a 12 mile diameter crater on Mars was named after Swanage in Dorset
  • The questions for the game of Trivial Pursuit were researched in the public library of Weymouth, Dorset.

By doing this challenge I found some very interesting things about Dorset, and England in general. These facts are not the sort of things I would come across on a normal day.”


This is a great piece of writing. Umaynah definitely has good research skills and certainly has found a wide range of facts. Thank you Umaynah for taking part in the Lockdown Challenge and I hope you have enjoyed it.

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