Cost of food technology cooking ingredients

(66 Posts)
HerLordship Thu 07-Mar-13 21:10:51

My eldest DD is 14, and is in year 9 at school. She has food technology lessons and cooks on average every other week. I'm all for kids learning cooking skills, but I am getting completely aghast at the sheer cost of ingredients required for recipes.

Tomorrow she has an assessment and is required to make some sort of cake/gateau for which the recipe has been supplied. It involves all kinds of obscure things that we don't have in our cupboards and fridge. DH has just been to Asda to get the ingredients and spent way over a tenner. The quantities required are always enormous too; 800g of mince for a lasagne (I use 250g when I make a lasagne to feed 5 of us, and bulk it out). Whole pints of milk. Big tubs of cream. 800g of chocolate chips. It's not as if the food is particulary edible either; food tech is first thing on a Friday. There is a fridge but it's not big enough for everyone's cooking and sometimes DD lugs it round with her all day. Plus I'm not keen on eating it anyway, as I remember the state of our home ec classroom at school and lack of general cooking hygiene.

IMO children should be taught to cook basics, on a budget. Simple things such as a victoria sponge, scrambled egg on toast, roast potatoes, quiche etc. Things that are staples of an everyday family diet. Not fancy things that have obscure ingredients and cost (and waste) an absolute fortune.

I am thinking of speaking to the food tech teacher about it, as it's costing £10ish per time. We're lucky we can afford it, but I'm assuming if someone is living on a very tight food budget and extra tenner per week or two is going to overstretch them. And it's the principle of the thing too. Kids get a detention too if they don't take all ingredients. DD once got a detention as she didn't take an ingredient but it was a really really bizarre spice and I couldn't find it anywhere so I suggested she substituted it, but no it wasn't good enough. Also if I'd have sent her with, say 500g of minced beef for lasagne, she would have got a detention as it's 800g that was required. I could make about 2 nights' worth of meals with 800g!!

I'm probably being tight, and mean spirited, but it's starting to make me quite resentful. And to top it off DD doesn't even like cooking; she hates it. It just feels like a waste.

Takver Thu 07-Mar-13 21:16:14

I don't think you're being tight at all! I'd use 700 gr of mince for a generous 2 nights dinner for the three of us, and we work outdoors so are big eaters.

I'd email / send a letter making the points you've made (maybe minus the comments on hygiene!) to the teacher, and see what she says.

TheCrackFox Thu 07-Mar-13 21:25:03

I think you have a point.

GetMeOut Thu 07-Mar-13 21:36:00

Absolutely ! Part of knowing how to cook also means working to a budget and avoiding waste - even restaurants and hotels have to that.

Totally agree. Complained on here about having to buy a whole pineapple, mango, strawberries (out of season) for a fruit salad.

You can send the mince in bulked out already, as long as it weighs 700g.

HerLordship Thu 07-Mar-13 21:45:25

I'm glad I'm not being a stinge!

Laurie, that amount of fruit is ridiculous. I swear sometimes schools only have tunnel vision about what they want pupils to do, and don't look at the wider picture.

Leeds2 Thu 07-Mar-13 22:22:11

I would've thought, at the very least, the school could offer to supply "obscure" ingredients at cost.

Sadly, my DD has never done cookery as a timetabled lesson. She did do it for two terms as an afterschool activity, and the teacher provided all the ingredients for which we had to pay. Suited me, tbh.

longingforsomesleep Thu 07-Mar-13 22:57:39

DS's school provide the ingredients. They do this for two reasons: one, because they can be guaranteed everyone will have the ingredients they need for each lesson. Two, because they don't ask pupils to provide materials in any other DT subjects, so don't think they should in Food Tech.

DS2 did Food Tech GCSE and I was absolutely amazed that one of the topics the Food Tech teacher chose was 'luxury deserts'. Not just because I'd rather the focus had been on more useful dishes, but also because he seemed to spend for ever either devising recipes for, or making, cheesecake! And the ingredients for that are quite expensive.

The only occasional expense we had was when he had to make something for homework and photograph it. But then I got to monitor hygiene standards and we could eat it afterwards without it having slopped around in the bottom of a school bag all day!

HerLordship Fri 08-Mar-13 07:20:45

I've just helped DD sort the ingredients out,weighing everything (yep they get detention if things aren't pre weighed too, so they are assuming every home has scales, which some don't I'm sure), and it all weighs a ton. There must be 15 different ingredients there, including a whopping 6 eggs! I could feed all 5 of us for a main meal using a box of 6 eggs!

I've now got to take DD in by car as there is lots of waiting around at bus stops, she will have to stand on the bus journey probably holding the bag as there'll be no room to put it on the floor, plus she has a walk from the bus stop to school, and it's pretty heavy. I would struggle to carry it any distance. Plus she has her usual books and other gear.

So not only financially inconvenienced but inconvenienced in that I have to spend my valuable time taking her into school today, all because some jumped-up teacher wants them to make the world's expensive gateau! I guarantee it won't be edible when DD gets home either as it's having fresh cream as a topping/filling, and DD rarely is able to have any fridge space for her stuff so carts it round all day.

happygardening Fri 08-Mar-13 07:25:20

My DS1 does food tech GCSE it's nearly driven me mad. I love the fact that he's learnt to cook a whole variety of things but the ingredients are ridiculous and the weight of it carrying it to school. He lost marks once for not having a cake stand and we'reexpected to provide flowers a vase and table cloth. One lesson he carried two big bags of ingredients. I too have a cupboard full of things that I removed 1 teaspoon from and I like cooking! One week we had to provide breast of lamb with the bone left in which many struggled to find. I put the food in those plastic boxes with clips on and he never brings them back.
As I said he's learnt a lot and is now a brilliant cook but it's been a pain in the neck organising it.

At ds1 school, we pay a contribution at the beginning of term, £25. The school then provide all the ingredients.
If they want to add things into a basic recipie, like decorate a cake or whatever, they have to provide that.
It makes much more sense to me.

But we never get to eat much of it as FT is first period and like the OP, there isn't enough fridge space.

£10 for ingrdients every lesson is ridiculous. Insure that throws out a lot of people's weekly budgets and meal plans.

Bunbaker Fri 08-Mar-13 07:34:52

"so they are assuming every home has scales,"

Oh, come on. Everyone has scales surely? They aren't exactly a luxury item like a Kitchen Aid. When I did Home Economics as it was called way back we used to have to bring in pre-weighed ingredients. I don't think that is a big ask.

However, I do think the quantities are ridiculously large. What are the obscure ingredients?

HerLordship Fri 08-Mar-13 07:39:44

I'm going to give the school a call this morning and ask for the teacher to call me back. If the syllabus says they must make a cake, for example, surely there is a budget cake they could make, or at least one that is cheaper than £12 or £13 to make. I feel the school are being really cheeky and presumptive in expecting everyone to provide the ingredients.

happy, how annoying about having to provide the cake stand, tablecloth etc. Schools are just taking the pee! I wouldn't mind providing the ingredients as much if DD was taking it for GCSE, as it would feel a worthwhile expense, but seeing as DD isn't taking it in year 10, and dislikes the lesson, and much as I hate to say it, doesn't actually cook very well, it just seems such a hideous, costly waste.

HerLordship Fri 08-Mar-13 07:45:02

Just things like cherry syrup, Bunbaker. Plus things that we just don't normally buy as a family, such as a large tub of double cream. We never eat cream so it's not like we have a tub sitting around! I don't generally bake, so don't have much baking stuff in the cupboard beyond basic baking ingredients.

I know of one family that didn't have scales. They did go and buy some. I agree most families have them. We have them. But not everyone bakes. Some people only cook freezer food for their children. I just think that the scales thing, coupled with the costs, coupled with having to hunt round for obscure stuff, and adding on the fact I've got to take DD into school, and the fact that the cake will also be wasted is a bit much really.

Iheartpasties Fri 08-Mar-13 07:52:12

I can't disagree with you at all. Not everyone will have scales, and enough tuperware or ziplock bags or whatnot to transport the ingredients. A costly gateaux is just completely unnecessary!! You have my sympathies. And a detention for missing spices that are hard to source - surely that massively penalises students with parents that simply cannot afford the ingredients! In my day I'm sure kids would be told to skive off by parents who couldn't provide the ingredients.

Iheartpasties Fri 08-Mar-13 07:53:25

cross posted!

miggy Fri 08-Mar-13 07:56:35

Cherry syrup? I bake loads and wouldnt have that in the cupboard!
No, its quite ridiculous and a scandal to waste all that food.
They could easily work in little groups if making moe expensive items with each child just taking a few ingredients surely? Then they could sit down and eat it perhaps.
Recipes sound ridiculous too, if they learnt something like a nice chocolate cake, they could wheel that out at home to make for birthdays etc, no sane person is going to homebake a gateau with 6 eggs and cherry syrup.
Seems pretty souless cooking stuff that you know will be binned, one way to put kids off cooking for life.

princesssugar Fri 08-Mar-13 08:18:04

I have posted on here before as i am a food teacher but to be honest i would complain about the above. There is nothing that says you have to cook in gigantic portions. When i teach my year 9's to do lasagne we use 50-75g of meat. We also provide all ingredients at a cost of £7.50 per year at key stage 3. This means we can buy in bulk and get it cheaper. I wouldnt use 800g of mince at home i use about 250g.

I think there are 2 issues with ft in school.1) the varous governments have tw*tted about with it for so any years, ( its in the curriculum, its out of the curriculum, we are recruiting teachers, we dont need teachers etc) that alot of school dont have qualifed food teachers. Now it is easy to cook if you know how, it is not easy to teach 30 kids how to do it. This is where you get stupid recipes and inappropriate products. The teacher should know how to reduce the recipe to suit the class.

The other problem is budgets. Food cost have risen massively over the last few years. Our departments budget has gone down. Ft department need funding properly so we can teach the children to cook on a budget and give them skills to help them in the future. This is also usually he reason why there Is not enough fridge space.

Op i would definately ask for an explanation on why they need so many ingredients and why they are not stored correctly

Oh and i have never used cherry syrup through a 4 year degree, 1 year pgce and 6 years of teaching!

Bunbaker Fri 08-Mar-13 08:20:28

I wouldn't know where to find cherry syrup either and we don't eat cream. That cake sounds hugely expensive. Is it Black Forest cherry gateau?

We were expected to provide ingredients for cookery at school though (in the 1970s) I would expect this to be the case as I think it is unrealistic to expect a school to fund food for a family meal - or cake in this case. If they are meant to be teaching baking why can't they just do a Victoria sandwich?

When DD was doing DT the school would provide some of the ingredients (which we had to pay for) and DD had to bring some in, but she made realistic things like bread, shortbread, fairy cakes etc, but she is in year 8. Perhaps they up the ante in year 9.

I would definitely complain to the school, especially as they are being so draconian about the ingredients. Giving detentions out for the wrong ingredients discriminates against families living on a budget and shouldn't be allowed.

HerLordship Fri 08-Mar-13 08:20:29

I've just phoned the school and the food tech teacher is going to phone me back later to discuss it.

HerLordship Fri 08-Mar-13 08:27:56

Bunbaker, yes it's a black forest cherry gateau type thing, although it had some fancy name, I can't remember what it was now, and DD has taken the recipe sheet into school with her.

Even in years 7 and 8 it was always really weird recipes; never any basic stuff. I would love it if they would teach her to cook things like pasta sauce, homemade soup, fairy cakes etc.

princesssugar Fri 08-Mar-13 08:39:35

Oh let us know what they say.

You'd love our school, basics is all they get. I have some high hope of kids coming to school and telling me they had cooked something for their tea, rather than having kebab meat and chips which seems to be the staple in our school.

jojane Fri 08-Mar-13 08:45:28

I think paying the school to provide the ingredients seems the best idea - ie 1 teaspoon of cherry syrup needed (cue 30 parents rushing out to local shop who probably only stocks 10 bottles due to low demand anyway!!) but if teacher provided it then only a couple of bottles would be needed reducing overall cost.

Meglet Fri 08-Mar-13 08:52:33

Six eggs!! Cherry syrup!!

Maybe the teacher thinks they are some kind of Heston Blumenthal with all these fancy ingredients confused.

Takver Fri 08-Mar-13 09:16:48

Good luck. I date from the era of cheese and potato pie and rock cakes - cheap, filling and the sort of thing kids are actually likely to make again at home.

Takver Fri 08-Mar-13 09:17:26

Princesssugar, you sound like a great FT teacher smile

GetMeOut Fri 08-Mar-13 09:25:46

Takver- fantastic memories of those too! That's what we should be teaching children - cheaper and more nutritious then horsemeat ready meals smile

BrianButterfield Fri 08-Mar-13 09:30:00

I don't know how the teacher knows if she brings 500g of mince instead of 800g and I speak as a secondary teacher myself! I'd do a quick squizz round the room to check everyone had roughly the right stuff and let them get on with it - after all, with something like a lasagne it doesn't matter too much if ingredients are 100% to the recipe. It'd take ages to weigh and check everyone's stuff.

This sounds ridiculous. We are on a budget and if one of the DDs needed cherry syrup it just wouldnt be possible!

When I was in school we made carrot cake, chilli with quorn, and boiled eggs. I am sure we made other things but I cant remember.

Making ridiculous, overcomplicated gateaux is only going to alienate children from cooking.

mamapants Fri 08-Mar-13 09:44:05

Going slightly against the grain here but I would be a bit disappointed if my child was being taught to make victoria sponge in school. Surely at age 14 that would be pretty boring and not worthy of a lesson. I used to get so bored in cookery class having to make scones and rock cakes.

Also could your child and friends not take the initiative of sharing items such as cherry syrup.

Takver Fri 08-Mar-13 09:53:41

mamapants - I disagree. My feeling is that (assuming the school isn't able to set, which I doubt is likely) yr 7-9 cookery ought to be about getting the children who can't cook at all up to a basic standard.

A bit like school swimming lessons, they're not for the dc who can already swim well, they're about getting everyone to swim enough, IYKWIM.

I know plenty of adults who can't make a victoria sponge (and only realise the need when they want to make a birthday cake for their dc!)

Bunbaker Fri 08-Mar-13 10:24:42

I agree Takver. When DD was making fairy cakes only her and one of her friends knew what they were doing as DD bakes at home with me and her friend bakes entirely on her own. None of the others knew what they were doing.

I think it is essential that all children should be taught to cook basic and simple nutritional meals from scratch. I realise that time is an issue at school so it has to be something that can be cooked and cleared up afterwards inside an hour.

I learnt how to cook properly at school and at home. It is a shame that so many adults can't cook a basic meal and I'm sure it was because they have never been taught how to.

If Home Economics/Food and Nutrition/Food Technology - call it what you will could be a more academic subject like the old O level was, and if it wasn't regarded as a soft option, perhaps the take up of the subject would be better. We didn't just learn how to cook, we had to learn about the nutritional content of foods as well.

Lomaamina Fri 08-Mar-13 10:53:24

I am totally in agreement that this is a ridiculous state of affairs. I'm really sympathetic about your having to transport your DC too. Not everyone has the flexibility to be able to do so, work wise.

We were so relieved when DS entered year 10 and didn't have to take part in this waste of money. I wrote quite a long letter about this to the school: about what a bad lesson it is for the pupils to see food being wasted, asking why they couldn't bulk buy things like flour and eggs, which are so difficult to transport, but basically got fobbed off. They don't learn to budget, to substitute alternatives if the ingredient required by the recipe isn't there and so on. Things improved slightly when they allowed him to club together with a friend so that they alternated buying ingredients, but still the wastage remained and the ceremony of taking the carefully transported steaming-food-in-a-plastic-container that was a veritable health hazard and dumping it straight in the rubbish continued throughout the years he took the subject.

I have to say though that we never reached the heights of absurdity of having to bring in cherry syrup. I've been home baking for 30+ years, have a store cupboard full of weird and wonderful ingredients, but never have I even encountered this as an ingredient. As some suggested above, this could be a learning opportunity of how to adapt a recipe: if they have to make black forest gateau, why not get them to buy cheap tinned cherries and boil down their sugar water to make a syrup themselves?

Fuming on your behalf, as you can see!

mamapants Fri 08-Mar-13 10:57:58

Point taken but agree it is very sad.
By year 9 when I was in school we were given a brief and allowed to choose the recipe- so a healthy vegetarian meal, a cake, a salad etc. This meant we were looking at nutrition, timing constraints, budget etc and the more adventurous could cook something more demanding. This was quite a good way of doing it.

princesssugar Fri 08-Mar-13 10:59:20

We do teach nutritional content or should do anyway. Problem is food technology was put as part of design technology where is doesnt seem to fit. Repeated designing and making of the same product, drawing endless pictures of said product. It is boring and unnecessary and thankfully we re moving away from that now.

To me it fits in science more as it used to be domestic science and pupils should be taught functions of the ingredients, nutritional qualities and also where the food comes from, all of which woud fit in science.

mamapants you would be surprised how many pupils have no idea how to make a victoria sponge cake withut resorting to a packet mix full of crap. Lots of parents dont have time to teach their kids how to cook ( or dont know themselves) abasic victoria sponge leads to development of different cakes, basic kitchen skills, decorating techniques, functions of ingredients and adapting the recipe to make to make it healthier

takver thank you! Im on maternity leave so its easy to sound good when i am sat in front of the tv

Bunbaker Fri 08-Mar-13 11:03:24

"To me it fits in science more as it used to be domestic science and pupils should be taught functions of the ingredients, nutritional qualities and also where the food comes from, all of which woud fit in science."

I agree. I did A level home economics and we had to do scientific experiments, learn about the molecular structure of proteins and other complicated stuff.

mamapants Fri 08-Mar-13 11:08:05

Actually thinking about it one of my colleagues uses a batter mix to make pancakes what's that all about?
Not that hard to find a recipe on internet surely.

Bunbaker Fri 08-Mar-13 11:13:54

What do they add to the mix to make pancakes? Some "mixes" say add eggs and milk, which is ridiculous as pancakes are only made with eggs, milk and flour anyway.

prettybird Fri 08-Mar-13 11:21:39

Ds is in S1 (=Y7) and all we have to do is pay £10 towards the cost of ingredients per session (think they will have 3 sessions of Home Ec this year - it alternates with Technical Drawing). If they need a dish to bake something in or to take home (as opposed to bringing in something themselves; ds remembers to take in a plastic container each week), there's an extra charge of 10p.

Occasionally they are asked to bring in their own ingredients - but only when it is their "selection". For example, yesterday he took in a couple of sheets of lettuce and his cooking buddy took in some rocket and cheese, as that was their choice of "extras" in the burgers that they were making.

I don't know if the cost will go up next year and the year after if he continues, but I doubt it or if it does, it'll only be a small amount more as the school is very conscious that some people don't have much spare cash (and even has an "Achievement Fund" to help ensure that no-one misses out on education or experiences because their family can't afford it).

Poundpup Fri 08-Mar-13 11:30:56

I think that Food techology is improtant but I know that it is not chosen by most children as an option subject. I would like to see this become part of PSHE and a portion of each year is dedicated to cooking. I don't mean useless things like raisin coleslaw but all the basics and I would like to see budgeting as part of the lesson.

OP, hope you have a good outcome with the school because clearly, someone is taking the mick. Those portion sizes are way out of control. Maybe they could partner each child up so no one spends more than a fiver on ingredients. Most people could cobble this amount together once a fortnight.

CalamityJan Fri 08-Mar-13 12:16:49

DC's Yr 7 pizza cost about 3 times the amount I would spend making it at home. Ditto the brownies.

800g of chocolate chips? That's bonkers.

Theas18 Fri 08-Mar-13 12:20:21

Posted exact same thread ? in SEptember about a bloody Thai chicken curry that cost £12 for ingredients . Apparently they "could hae organised to share" but DD didn't realise this ( she's a bit of an control freak and I bet she didn't want to risk her cookery on someone else getting the stuff either LOL- It has failed before).

THat was £12 for chicken breasts/thai paste/coconut milk/fine beans/spring onions etc and made a " curry" that DD2 and DS ate as a snack angry

that's knocking on for 1/5 of my usual super market week shop money!

HerLordship Fri 08-Mar-13 12:22:23

School phoned back earlier, well the receptionist did, and said the teacher will be too busy to speak to me today but I can try to call her on Monday if I want to. Looks like it'll be that then.

HerLordship Fri 08-Mar-13 12:23:35

Theas, that's ridiculous about the Thai curry. I think schools think we are made of money

I will be glad when DD is in year 10 and doesn't have to take part in cookery lessons again.

nickstmoritz Fri 08-Mar-13 13:43:35

Must admit I recently binned DD2s maccaroni cheese which had been decanted into a plastic box and lugged around all day..yuk! As they were making it before lunch why not then eat it for lunch straight away while it was hot? I agree with the cost of ingredients sometimes being silly too but just as annoying - DD1s school food tech lessons were always copying notes on hygiene off the board because the teacher was busy and her one practical involved bringing in a ready meal to heat up in a microwave. Good grief!

princesssugar Fri 08-Mar-13 16:05:58

Herlordship - the teacher is too busy??!? I didnt realise i could get away with that as an excuse! Damn it all these years of staying till 5 to speak to parents. Seriously though that seems a bit rude to me.

The thai curry takes the piss, i think i said that at the time. Mental. Admittedly i work in a difficult area and i would get laughed at if i sent home a list including thai curry paste. We only ask kids to bring in optionals e.g. Chocolate if we are doing cakes or biscuits, chicken if we are doing veg curry.even then i have had a parent complain because her daughter asked her for a banana " what do i want to buy bananas for?"

I think i need to change pupils a list of ingredients and having them bring it in would be lovely.......

hippoCritt Fri 08-Mar-13 16:12:52

I think you should email a request to speak to teacher by x day and refer to what you have been told today, how rude!

Bunbaker Fri 08-Mar-13 16:21:19

"and all we have to do is pay £10 towards the cost of ingredients per session"

£10 per lession shock. Are they taking the mick? When DD made apple crumble she took in the apple and had to pay 60p for the other ingredients.

Naoko Fri 08-Mar-13 16:27:14

800g chocolate chips?! I'm an enthusiastic baker, I bake cakes that work out quite expensively sometimes (for fun. I consider it a leisure expense), and I have never seen anything that required quite that many chocolate chips, or indeed that much chocolate, unless it was for an absolutely enormous cake. Don't have any cherry syrup lying about the place either.

It's madness. I bet they're wanting the chocolate chips for melting too, rather than stirring into batter (so they'll keep their shape), in which case there is really no excuse for not using bars of chocolate instead, which would be much cheaper. Alright, chips melt more evenly, but that's not a good enough excuse for the additional expense. If I were making a cake for a special occasion, I'd spring for high quality cooking chocolate, and maybe for the chips instead of bars. A school food tech lesson? Not a chance.

Blu Fri 08-Mar-13 16:31:56

DS's ingredients for next week include '2 scoops of ice cream'.
Any suggestions as to how I send that in?

I am shock at some of these!

DD has cooked cheese and tomato tartlets, pasties, iced buns (where they learned to make bread dough), all things that are useful to know. By far the most expensive was pork and apricot burgers - they cost around £8 but as her cookery lesson was the last lesson of the day, she brought them home still hot and we had them for tea. They were fab! grin

If the school came up with some ridiculously expensive dish that would end up in the bin, I think there'd be a mass protest!

prettybird Fri 08-Mar-13 19:32:54

Sorry - just to clarify, by "session" I meant block of Home Ec classes. It's not quite a term, as they alternate with Technical Drawing, about 8 weeks. I think over the year they will have three sessions of Home Ec - but it may just be two. Since August, I have paid £20 in total.

Whathaveiforgottentoday Fri 08-Mar-13 19:57:54

Bun baker, we will be cooking in science club next week as we'll be making ice cream. Happy for home economics to move into science!

crazycarol Fri 08-Mar-13 21:01:13

I must be really lucky. DDs school charge £30 per year for all ingredients except for her exam which she had to provide all the ingredients. Sometimes she eats the item for her lunch [relief] but other times she brings it home for us to share. This weeks offering was a bakewell tart. When I explained that I coulddn't eat it due to the almonds, she said "Oh its alright we aren't allowed to put nuts in it due to nut allergies" Well it isn't a bakewell tart then is it?

Tinuviel Sat 09-Mar-13 14:12:16

As secondary teacher, cooking is a nightmare!! I had a pupil many years ago asked if he could leave a container of fruit salad in my cupboard. He didn't collect it and as I didn't use said cupboard very often, we both forgot about it!! More recently I ended up with golden syrup over my classroom because it 'leaked'. Pupil missed part of lesson because it needed cleaning up straightaway. At ours they mostly provide the ingredients but apparently they have to take 'extras' in themselves. I did suggest that syrup was probably not a good choice to carry (probably upside down) in a bag.

However, I do agree that it is a very important subject but don't think much of the amount of 'folder work' they have to do in proportion to the amount of time they spend actually cooking.

TeamEdward Sat 09-Mar-13 14:41:12

My DH is Head of Technology and I asked him what his school do. In Yr7 & Yr8, children contribute £10 per old term (so £30 a year) and the school buys in all the ingredients. They also mostly cook single portions, so no lugging a family meal in their bags all day. The department also has 5 fridges, so everyone's food is stored safely.
From Year 9 onwards, those doing GSCE Food & Nutrition pay £10 per new term (£60 a year). Two thirds of lessons are on nutrition etc, and one third are cooking practicals.
The school is in quite a deprived area (40% are free school meals) and those families on FSM don't have to contribute at all to Food Tech costs as it is met out of pupil premium.

princesssugar, DH wants to know if you want a job? He's got a vacancy coming up and likes your posts!

TeamEdward Sat 09-Mar-13 22:27:05

Oh! I killed the thread. Sorry!

GemmaTeller Sat 09-Mar-13 22:49:03

Way way back in the dim and distant past when I did 'domestic science' at grammar school we started by making:

rock cakes
blancmange (yes really, from a packet and someone lost points as theirs was still lumpy and not mixed right-not me!)
victoria sponge
triple decker sandwiches (how I thought these were posh)

we went onto:
meat pie
shepherds pie

we finished in the fifth form with:
christmas cake made from scratch with royal icing (mine was so rock hard my mum had to turn it upside down and scoop the cake out)

My mum rang in sick for me the week we had to take a whole fish in and scale and gut it before cooking it (boak)

Bunbaker Sat 09-Mar-13 23:22:19

The first thing we cooked in domestic science in the first year at high school was breakfast, we also did rock cakes, blancmange, raspberry buns, bread and butter pudding, crumble and numerous other things. I took O level and we had to do several practice assignments. Then it did get expensive because we were cooking 5 dishes in two and a half hours. Balancing them on the bus home was pretty difficult as my parents didn't own a car.

sashh Sun 10-Mar-13 05:07:05

I have very little good to say about my school but.....

The teachers (not just domestic science, as it was then) would buy the dish from the pupil making it.

Sometimes the teacher would bring in ingredients, sometimes the pupil provided them and the teacher would pay for the cost.

Said teacher then got to take whatever it was home.

The only time the school bulk bought was when we made Christmas cake (in September). I had to keep it hidden from my brother because we had to take it back for icing in December.

Oh and we couldn't bring things in a bag - we had to have a basket with a cover.

Knowsabitabouteducation Sun 10-Mar-13 08:25:10

My DDs have to provide their own ingredients, but they are pretty basic. They will either measure out at home (I don't do this for them), or at school, and bring home whatever is left. I think they spend about £3 on average on what they take into school (although I do encourage them to get BOGOFs, so the supermarket bill can be a lot more) - they go shopping for the ingredients as it's all part of the learning. If they are making their own two-course meal, they are given a £5 upper limit.

They cook in every lesson for half a year, and learn techniques, rather than nutrition or presentation. We always eat what they bring home. I look forward to it as it means I don't have to cook!

These lessons are called Home Economics and very similar to what I did at school over 30 years ago, right down to the wicker basket and striped apron.

Fredstheteds Mon 18-Mar-13 22:38:59

Well I must be an very considerate food tech teacher!

I would never.... Use 700g of meat ( enough for a small army), 800g of chocolate drops ( how much....)

I buy in anything usual such as yeast/ strong bread flour, fajita spice and wraps.... Vanilla, oil, vinegar/ sauces etc.

Would never insist on strawberries for fruit salad..... Or bring in ice cream...

Kids cook a wide variation if dishes.... Pasta/ fajitas/ lasagne etc. GCSE have an allowance for strange ingredients and this year girls who came o parents evening had their ingredients paid for.... Great sea bass!

Brownies etc can be made with cocoa powder etc.

If I did detention for ingredients not weighed out I would have thousands in !

Parents we did appreciate your efforts.

Everhopeful Wed 20-Mar-13 18:28:34

Good luck from here too - am dreading the thought now of DD doing food tech and I was really looking forward to her learning how to cook...this is NOT reasonable!

ibizagirl Sat 23-Mar-13 08:25:31

Dd did cooking in year 7 and 8 and it was awful. Apart from the cost (dd is on free meals and i asked whether there was any support for costs and was told no) there were three children to a cooker and the food was vile as it was never cooked properly. Everything was dumped apart from some bread rolls which were okish. One assessment was to make scones apart from plain scones. Dd took some chopped nuts and choc chips. She was told at the assessment that she couldn't use the nuts "in case someone is allergic". Great. The children were not told this beforehand. There was a horrible bolognese that she made. It had carrots in and something else i can't remember which i wouldn't use and that was vile too. Its always made in the morning too and nowhere to keep it cold. Can't see the point of it myself unless they do traditional cooking or the basics. Dd said some couldn't even weigh the stuff out properly, although they were told to take stuff ready weighed.

Talkinpeace Sat 23-Mar-13 14:36:51

DS and I look at what the recipe is and decide how much to take in.
If the teacher wants more she can provide.
And when its odd ingredients I got him to text round his class and each family bought a packet of one of them and they divided it up in class ...

colditz Sat 23-Mar-13 14:50:31

Did this ever get resolved?

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