“Then God said: “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 -And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground-everything that has the breath of life in it-I give every green plant for food." And it was so.” Genesis 1:29-30
The food industry is one of the biggest employers in the UK when taking account of manufacturing, retail as well as catering and hospitality. All people have to eat and with obesity being one of the major issues of modern time it is vital that all students learn how to cook several dishes and learn the basic skills of cooking and where food comes from. All food made at Mount Carmel, by the students are made from scratch and are relatively cheap and produced in less than an hour. Pupils work independently and in pairs and groups to make different dishes and products and learn different cooking methods.
In key stage 3 the pupils are on a rotation system with design and technology subjects and art. Students in food have 2x1hr lessons for an average of 10 weeks. They follow the national curriculum (NC), whilst also building skills and knowledge ready for key stage 4 and GCSE food preparation and nutrition. The curriculum is such that the students learn new skills whilst built on previously taught skills and information therefore this enables students to remember skills over time.
In year 7, basic skills are taught setting the foundation for most principles of cooking this includes: knife holding techniques, such as: bridge and claw. The recipes produced involve fruit and vegetables to encourage 5-a-day eating and following the Government recommendation of The Eatwell Guide.
In year 8, staple foods are covered. These are carbohydrate rich products eaten around the world. All products made are linked to staple foods and cereals.
In year 9, multicultural foods are produced with the introduction of raw meat and the importance of cooking it correctly. Dishes using sauces are produced too. Dishes are therefore suitable for eating as part of a family including main meals and desserts.
How will the subject be assessed?
The subject content is assessed at the beginning and end of each rotation. Students also evaluate the products made. Homework is given to each year group and this is assessed.
This is an option subject and is offered to all abilities. The exam board has recently been changed to follow the EDUQAS specification in GCSE food preparation and nutrition. It is split into the components:
- Food commodities: meat, poultry, eggs, fish and dairy products
- Principles of nutrition: macro and micro nutrients, functions and deficiencies
- Diet and good health: The Eatwell Guide
- The science of food: gluten, raising agents, gelatinization
- Where food comes from: ‘Gate to Plate’
- Cooking and food preparation: knife skills, shaping, mixing, marinating, pastry, cooking techniques, sensor testing, etc.
This exam board has been chosen as it is best suited to our students’ needs as EDUQAS offers students to follow a broader curriculum. Within this specification there is the flexibility for products to be adapted so that different ability levels can gauge which version of a product they want to attempt.
How will the subject be assessed?
At key stage 4 the subject is assessed through mini practical and theoretical assessments throughout year 10, with a mock practical exam at the end of the year which gives students the experience of cooking in a 3-hour block; this is marked using the specification mark scheme. Mini assessments are also levelled to give students an indication of the grade. Guidance is given to students on the different bands of marks in order to encourage ambitious results.
In year 11 students complete 2 pieces of formal assessment in the form of coursework:
NEA1 – This is released on 1 September by the exam board with students working on this till November completing a 1500-2000-word document and numerous experiments needed for completion of the task. This is worth 15%.
NEA2 – This is released on the 1 November by the exam board.; students work on this till Easter. During the course of this they will have 2 sessions where they will have a 3-hour block to make suitable dishes which fulfil the brief. They have to write this up with research, suitability of chosen dishes and an evaluation. This is worth 35% The final formal exam is sat at the end of the course over 1 ¾ hrs and is worth 50%.
Enrichment and / or extra curricular activities
Intervention for year 11 is offered throughout the year offering guidance on coursework and on exam revision. In Y10 a couple of students are entered into an inter-schools competition run through North Lancs. Training Group. The competition involves students designing food products around a given theme. Mount Carmel consistently falls in the top three schools who enter the competition.
Next steps (College, University, career)
What can the subject prepare me for?
The skills learnt from this course will enable a person to be more independent knowing how to produce products which can be re-created outside of school. The theory aspect of this course helps with many jobs in society such as: careers in sports, the care industry (where the understanding of nutrition is needed) and, obviously, in the food industry.
The only route directly related to this subject in local colleges is now through apprenticeships which are offered by Accrington College and North Lancs Training Group. Local businesses such as: Northcote Manor take on apprenticeships each year which allow aspiring young chefs to start their career.
Ingredients are vital for practical lessons.
Revision guides produced for EDUCAS are offered to students in year 10
Revision cards are used to aid revision
BBC Bitesize for revision
BBC Food website for skills techniques and recipes