AIBU to think this Food Tech curriculum is ridiculous?

(26 Posts)
QueenofQuirkiness Sat 03-Sep-16 09:47:18

My younger children are twin DDs who are going into Year 8. They attend the same school, and last year in Food Tech they learnt to make the following:
A sandwich
A smoothie
Cookies
A toastie
How to use a microwave (some children microwaved a pot noodle!)
Jacket potato
Beans on toast
And that's it. I know some children may never have cooked before, but this seems like a silly simplified curriculum to me, as I took O Level Cookery where we cooked whole three course meals complete with sauces, and in first/second year I remember cooking meals as well.
One of my DD's wants to do GCSE Food Tech, but I'm reluctant about the idea if this is the hardest things they've learnt to make.
Also, my DD's say they've only had the real teacher for their subject about 7 times, and every other time they've had a supply teacher who has made them watch a film or read the textbook all lesson. The real teacher didn't turn up at Parents' Evening confused probably because she was avoiding the inevitable questioning from parents. I just don't think enough has gone into the curriculum, which is a shame, because I really enjoyed Cookery and I want my daughters to as well, AIBU?

twofloorsup Sat 03-Sep-16 09:59:44

It is absolutely ridiculous !
I firmly believe bringing in proper cooking lessons would go a long way to sorting out the current obesity epidemic.

multivac Sat 03-Sep-16 10:00:18

Food tech is often quite poorly taught, alas. This is the kind of curriculum I would want to see at KS3:

www.teachwire.net/news/a-piece-of-cake

WhiskyTangoFoxtrot Sat 03-Sep-16 10:00:54

Food Tech isn't Cookery.

Yes, what they have done is miles away from cookery, and sounds somewhat inadequate for food tech as well. But don't expect them to learn to cook much - if you google what exam boards ask for at GCSE you'll see how far and away different the syllabus is from a cookery course.

If you want a cookery course for your DC then it might be better looking for one as a holiday activity. Or just teaching them yourself at home as your enthusiasm will probably be catching.

honeysucklejasmine Sat 03-Sep-16 10:10:38

Agree that food technology is not cooking classes. It's a lot about designing dishes and evaluating them, and sometimes the manufacturing processes used. There's very little "learning to cook a new dish".

I was dumped with food tech as my Core Subject timetable wasn't full. It was awful, no schemes of work, and the actual FT teacher left at Oct half term never to be seen again. I was essentially told "do what you want". So we did! We chose topics similar to GCSE stuff (it was year 9), but cut out a lot of the more advanced theory and watered down the "technology" aspect.

We did afternoon tea, international dishes, bread etc. I was do impressed with some of the things they made. I knew I was on to a winner when "sponge cake, adapt how you like" project resulted in perfect fondants and beautifully decorated individual size cakes. So we upped our expectations of what they could cook!

By the end of the year I was enjoying it, but so glad when they employed a new FT teacher. She had schemes of work and everything.

(I think we only got away with it because we were in special measures and SLT could not give a fuck as long as they were cooking and doing some written work too. Certainly that's the response I got when I asked for help!)

mumsneedwine Sat 03-Sep-16 10:18:21

That is awful for year 8. Mine made curry, bolognaise, hand held pizzas (designed by kids and with different fillings), and lots of other things I can't remember ! All preped from fresh. One of mine just starting Food Tech and it's quite scientific now.

LunaLoveg00d Sat 03-Sep-16 10:19:38

We're in Scotland so the ages and curriculum are different but my 13 year old is a similar age and in his second year of Home Economics in secondary.

They do half cooking, half textiles. In the food bit so far he has learned all about food hygiene and safety including things about how to prepare and store food safely. He has made soup, pizza, flapjacks, vegetable curry and rice, apple sponge pudding and some stir fry noodle things. (I rarely see what he makes as his Home Ec lessons are just before lunch and he scoffs the lot). I'm pleased with what he's doing - he's certainly learning the basics like cooking rice and chopping veg, and it's encouraging him to get into the kitchen at home more too.

leccybill Sat 03-Sep-16 10:23:17

I did 'Home Economics' in the early 90s.
I remember we made: pizza, sausage rolls, risotto, swiss rolls and cheese scones.
Not all in the one lesson though.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sat 03-Sep-16 10:28:27

Also, my DD's say they've only had the real teacher for their subject about 7 times, and every other time they've had a supply teacher who has made them watch a film or read the textbook all lesson. The real teacher didn't turn up at Parents' Evening

Something else is going on here.

pieceofpurplesky Sat 03-Sep-16 10:34:50

My DS is going in to year 8. In year 7 he made cookies, toasted sandwiches, pasta sauce and pasta, stir fry, leek and potato soup and finished off with cupcakes. I think this is great basic survival cooking!

PolterGoose Sat 03-Sep-16 18:07:25

Crikey, sandwiches and toasties shock

In Y7 and Y8 ds has made fairy cakes, omelette, cheese scones, macaroni cheese with a proper roux, bolognese, veg curry, chocolate marble cake, apple crumble, pizza with proper yeast dough base, and more.

woodhill Sat 03-Sep-16 18:16:58

It's rubbish. I made pastry, fish pie, scone pizza., various methods of cake making, mixed grill. We had to write up the recipes.

My cookery teacher would be turning in her grave

Cococrumble Sat 03-Sep-16 18:21:48

This is nothing new though, I did food tech in 2004 and we made smoothies, cookies and put our own toppings on ready made pizzas. It seems that my school just didn't give a shit.

QueenofQuirkiness Sat 03-Sep-16 18:26:46

Good to see it's not only me who thinks this is unbelievably basic. One of the DD's loves to cook with me (and wants to do Food Tech GCSE), but her sister isn't as bothered and so I'm worried that she'll never learn how to cook proper food unless I have to teach her (and she has no interest in cooking). I wrote about my concerns on the report reply slip, but I haven't received any feedback since then, however the DD's have a new teacher for year 8, so hopefully the curriculum and standard of teaching will improve, fingers crossed.

titchy Sat 03-Sep-16 18:38:30

Food tech GCSE involves VERY little cooking. Make sure she's aware of exactly what it is.

OhSoggyBiscuit Sat 03-Sep-16 20:11:10

I remember cooking pasta salad, stir fry, pizza, lasagne, and lots and lots of cakes in my food tech lessons at school. Such a shame if it's now "how to microwave food"

teletone Sat 03-Sep-16 23:10:58

If you are in England GCSE Food Tech is no longer a future option now as it has been replaced by GCSE Food Nutrition & Preparation (Y10 are the first year to do it) This is totally different to Food Tech and contains more science & meal planning principles.

No more package design!

Have a look at the specification. It's modern and the controlled assessment is 2 pieces rather than one long piece.

The supply teacher issue is a concern but good trained Food teachers are hard to find. I would raise that with the school as you would want to know the GCSE is being correctly staffed.

kimlek Thu 05-Jan-17 19:16:32

teletone How do I find out the exact specifications for GCSE Food & Nutrition please?
Every single thread seems to relate to the old 'food tech' gcse.
Does anyone know how hard it is to get an A/A* (or 7/8 as it will be by then) please?
Will this gcse be viewed differently to the 'old Food tech' gcse? If so, better or worse? Easier or harder?
Huge thanks in advance!

kimlek Thu 05-Jan-17 19:24:53

Found the spec by googling 'aqa Food' but would love answers to my other queries pls. X

kimlek Thu 05-Jan-17 19:29:11

In case anyone else interested...
www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/food/gcse/food-preparation-and-nutrition-8585/specification-at-a-glance

teletone Thu 05-Jan-17 21:36:46

Posted on your other thread.

teletone Thu 05-Jan-17 21:42:00

I think the new GCSE will be viewed better as it is more academically rigorous and also less about designing packaging and adapting a product 10 times but more about proper dishes and their nutritional value and relevance to dietary groups.

Controlled assessment seems more focused and having 2 pieces varies it more than the 1 very long piece for the old GCSE.

I'm not sure I would say it's harder but more focused. Lots of science though.

Parents I have spoken with are very receptive to this new qualification and happy for their children to choose it.

kimlek Fri 06-Jan-17 11:27:50

Thank you teletone

Devilishpyjamas Fri 06-Jan-17 12:52:04

Ds2's food tech (at grammar) was awful. Everything he came gone with was inedible. Went straight in the bin. He gave it up as soon as he could.

Ds3 is at a different school in year 7 and his has been amazing. He produced what is (honestly) the best omelette I have ever tasted. This week he had granola (which, only ever having bought it, I didn't even realise was cooked) - he apologised for not seasoning it adequately - (pmsl - and I didn't notice) but it's my breakfast for the next few days. They are almost meant to speak French in their cookery lessons (as that's what they do in posh kitchen natch).

Anyway he absolutely loves it & has already decided he wants to do it at GCSE grin - no idea whether he will but seeing the difference between the two boys has highlighted to me what a massive difference the teaching & recipes makes.

Devilishpyjamas Fri 06-Jan-17 12:52:50

Ah zombie thread, sorry

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