Cooking and Food Technology

Intent:

At Fosse Way School we recognise that skills in cooking and understanding a healthy diet are vital for our pupils to maintain their health and enjoyment of food into their adult lives.

We aim to give every young person the basic skills and knowledge to be able to cook for them-selves in a safe, healthy and cost-effective way, as well as to gain the confidence to share these skills with friends and family

Some pupils at our school have difficulties with the sensory aspects of some foods, for example, the texture or smell of food items may be overwhelming for them.   These pupils may have a restricted diet missing out on certain food groups due to these issues.  We aim to allow pupils to experience a range of food types in a supportive manner and to increase the range of food the pupils will accept in their diet.

 For some, cooking at school may be the start of a career in cooking; for others, it will help them to learn the basic skills and recipes that will help them to make healthy choices throughout their lives.

At Fosse Way we believe that cooking is an essential life skill which empowers pupils to make changes that have benefits to long term wellbeing of self and family.

Implementation:

​The school has a well-resourced and spacious cooking room designed for class groups as well as various smaller home style kitchens in the Post 16 building and Fosse Way House.  The school has a busy and popular Training Café open to the public as well as a large polytunnel and raised beds for growing edible products that provide our students with real-life work skill opportunities.

All pupils at the school participate in cooking lessons.  The majority of recipes used are for savoury foods.  Cakes and other puddings are considered occasional and only for treats e.g. birthdays and celebrations.  Pupils are taught about where our food comes from and how to eat a balanced diet.

In the Early Years pupils follow a ‘fun with food’ programme that introduces food items for pupils to explore using all of their senses.  Pupils also help to prepare daily snacks of fruit and vegetables and simple recipes such as making a sandwich or biscuits to celebrate Christmas.

In Key Stage 2, pupils begin to access the specialist room in class groups.  They are taught to use kitchen equipment safely, to work in a hygienic manner and to tidy up after themselves.  Pupils access the cooking room for 3 of the 6 terms per year.  Pupils in KS2 also prepare snacks for each other in class, taking turns to take orders from their peers, to serve the snacks and to tidy up afterwards.  Pupils begin make choices about the ingredients they will use in simple recipes, for example, which fruits to put in a smoothie or which toppings to put on a pizza.

During Key Stage 3 some pupils begin to follow more complex recipes for example making soups, salads or pasta dishes.  They begin to learn about and cook foods from around the world.  Pupils may work individually, in pairs or small groups to prepare, cook and taste their work.  They will learn to understand and use language related to different methods of cooking foods, for example, baking, boiling, frying, grilling etc.

In Key Stage 4 pupils follow the BTEC Home Cooking Skills at Level 1 & 2 course.  They learn to cook balanced meals and keep an individual log of their work.  Pupils share recipes with their friends and family.  At level 1 BTEC, pupils’ final assessment is to design, plan and cook a main course.  At level 2 BTEC pupils undertake a complex final assessment where they design, plan and cook a two-course meal on a theme.  KS4 pupils may also opt to follow a BTEC in hospitality to develop their vocational skills in this area.

Some of our more sensory students follow a food curriculum that allows them to build experience around food exploring textures, taste, smells and preparing food that suits their abilities.

In Post 16 our pupils follow units of work from the AQA unit award schemes. They each work at the level appropriate to them and they have class lessons as well as opportunities to plan and cook their own food. They learn about healthy living as part of the preparation for life curriculum and explore recipes which will be possible for them to cook when living on their own, many exploring more complicated recipes throughout their time in Post 16, as well as learning about and cooking/preparing a variety of healthy snacks. Pupils will shop for their own ingredients prior to cooking and often share the food they have prepared with their class or friends for lunch, or take them home for their families. Some of the students choose to complete work experience in the school kitchens and for this they need to complete their basic food hygiene certificates which brings them great pride. Some of our most entrepreneurial Post 16 students have been looking into pet food and in particular dog treats and have made their own dog biscuits and treats. In addition to this Post 16 along with students from the rest of the school have been clearing and preparing the Poly Tunnel and garden area so that planting can take place. The food grown will be shared with the cafe and school kitchen meaning we will become a more sustainable site.

Impact:

Cooking lessons are extremely popular with pupils from across the whole age range of the school.  Pupils are able to put mathematical skills in to practice when measuring ingredients and using timers.  They learn to follow recipes systematically, and they find out what happens when a recipe is not followed accurately and doesn’t work as expected, in a safe and fun way.

Some pupils are able to increase the range of foods they find acceptable through having been exposed to, handled and prepared the food themselves.  This can have a wider impact on the pupils’ home life and families may be able to prepare a wider range of meals or be able to go out to eat as a family knowing there are foods on the menu that their child will choose. Students also have a good knowledge of what a healthy diet looks like.

On completion of the Home Cooking course, the impact of the knowledge and understanding enables learners to cook a variety of healthy and nutritious dishes. Learners will be competent in a range of cooking techniques.

Careers:

From practicing serving each other during snack times and communication café’s, to working in Longfellows Café or food based placements at Project SEARCH in their final year of school our pupils are encouraged to consider job opportunities in food and catering.

Pupils have the opportunity to gain work experience in a range of local settings including a hotel, local cafes and an organic food farm.

Some pupils will choose to continue their studies in food or cooking at further education settings.