Food Technology is taught in brightly coloured classrooms in a positive and exciting learning environment. A classroom is used for theory based lessons and a well-resourced practical room, which consists of five working areas is used for practical and experimental work. The department consists of one full-time and one part-time member of staff and a part-time technician. All ingredients and equipment for practical lessons is provided by school in all Key Stages for a small charge of £2 which is added to your school account at the end of each term. Students provide their own ingredients for free choice practicals and for the controlled assessment at GCSE and A level. In the department, we aim to create an essential life-skill for your future and develop your understanding of making a variety of appetising and appealing food products. You will learn how to work safely, hygienically and learn about healthy initiatives and nutrition. You will become confident in making food products and work within stringent time-constraints. You will also learn how to be organised and analytical in approach. There are plenty of opportunities to be involved in the vast range of extra-curricular activities that take place throughout the year. Some students have followed their love of nutrition and food science and have pursued degrees at university in subject related courses.
All classes are taught in mixed ability groups. In Key Stage 3, the courses are very practically based with some theory lessons. The practical lessons involve watching demonstrations, designing and making food products, sensory evaluation and product analysis. The theory lessons involve classroom activities, discussions and group work. In Year 7, you will learn about food safety, food hygiene, basic nutrition, healthy eating and you will make a wide variety of products; students’ favourites are usually cupcakes! In Year 8, you will complete a design task to produce a product for a young child. In Year 9, your topic will be to design and make a product that is multi-cultural and suitable for teenagers.
Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 follow the Design and Technology: Food Technology specifications. At Key Stage 4 this consists of a written paper of 2hours which is worth 40% of the total marks and a controlled assessment which is 60% of the total marks. At A level, the specification consists of a written examination paper and a controlled assessment in each year, each of these separate units is worth 25% of the total A2 grade.
The department provides opportunities for students to take part in a wide variety of extra-curricular activities. Cooking Club is a very popular after school activity which takes place in the first half of the year. It takes place weekly during prep time and students make a wide variety of products, usually sweet products which are requested by the students! There are many House activities that take place including Ratcliffe Bake-Off and the Christmas Food competition. Students also have the opportunity to take part in the national FutureChef competition; in 2014 one of our students was one of ten students to reach the final stage there were over 8000 entries. Controlled assessment guidance classes and revision sessions are offered prior to the examination period.