Kindergartners at Roseburg Junior Academy have been learning about Great Britain, and on Wednesday, they participated in their own version of The Great British Baking Show, a popular British television series.

“It was a tie-in with Mother’s Day,” teacher Heather Iverson said. “Usually we do a bunch of art projects for mom, and I wanted to make sure moms don’t get left out.”

Iverson has been preparing homework packets since the school closed its doors amid the coronavirus pandemic, which have been picked up by guardians each Monday. This week, Iverson made baskets for each of her 12 students filled with cake mix, baking utensils, a fresh lemon, lemon almonds, cookies, and various British-themed decorations.

Roseburg Junior Academy Principal and fourth through eighth grade teacher Jeff Jackson and his wife, and music director at the school, Andrea Jackson added chefs hats and T-shirts emblazoned with cupcakes and the school’s initials.

Students, with the help of their guardians, joined Iverson in a Zoom videoconference where they spent a few minutes catching up and showing off their hats and shirts before they started baking a lemon cream cake.

“I have a favorite cake and that’s a version of the Olive Garden lemon cream cake,” Iverson said. “I’ve been eating it a lot, trying to simplify it for the class.”

The class made a white cake from a box mix with a lemon cream cheese frosting.

After they finished mixing the cake batter and helped parents or grandparents put their cake in the oven, they started making frosting for the cake with the lemon they found in their basket.

In addition to parents and grandparents, the kindergartners were also joined by siblings while they made the cake.

When asked what they’re favorite part of baking was, Utsho Mukherjee said “mixing” while Hazel Christian said she enjoyed decorating.

The class met three hours after the start of the initial session for a British tea party, where they indulged in their cakes and socialized.

Iverson was thankful for the guardians’ help during the baking lesson Wednesday and said that they receive a thank you this week, which is National Teacher Appreciation Week, because “we’re all teaching.”

Like most other schools, Roseburg Junior Academy has gone to a new education program that’s in line with Gov. Kate Brown’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” executive order.

Iverson and Andrea Jackson said teaching kindergarten remotely has gone surprisingly well. Students are getting packets of work, but also check in with Iverson three times a week to go over new lessons with the help of their parents or grandparents.

“It’s really good for the parents to connect that way as well,” Jackson said. “Learning from home is new for all of us. They share ideas among parents and they found it to be quite helpful.”

Sanne Godfrey can be reached at or 541-957-4203. Follow her on Twitter @sannegodfrey.

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