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How do you manage cooking with a large group?

Discussion in 'Design and technology' started by jamajor, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. Next year I have a year 7 group of 25. I only have hob space for 24 (if and when I use them). I was thinking of spliting the class and having one half doing practical and the other theory. I have no idea how to do it. Year 7 skills are never great and so they will require a lot of help and so I think that the theory group could start to mess about. How do you teach your large groups? Any advice will be greatly appreciated. We may also be having and OFSTED visit and lessons like this worry me.
    Thanks
     
  2. Next year I have a year 7 group of 25. I only have hob space for 24 (if and when I use them). I was thinking of spliting the class and having one half doing practical and the other theory. I have no idea how to do it. Year 7 skills are never great and so they will require a lot of help and so I think that the theory group could start to mess about. How do you teach your large groups? Any advice will be greatly appreciated. We may also be having and OFSTED visit and lessons like this worry me.
    Thanks
     
  3. TC7

    TC7

    I sometimes have up to 23, do you have a technician who could put the odd tray in later? Ofsted could be useful, as 20 is the recommended number. I never have any students doing theory because they do not work and you cannot be supervising practical and theory. If ofsted come round they like practical lessons because the students are actively learning. Keep the practical simple, only let them weigh out one ingredient, have the rest pre-weighed, run a table/ group idea for clearing up. appoint students in charge of each group and they could also help the slow ones.
     
  4. thistledoo

    thistledoo Senior commenter

    Hmm, problem. One that seems to be creeping in again. Our food rooms are equipped for 18 but we regularly get up to 22 in many KS3 classes. I am trying hard to resist large groups because of safety - and it really does matter. First, splitting a group sounds fine in theory. Depends on the group! Sometimes the students not doing practical cannot concentrate and cannot resist watching/ interfering in the practical. If someone is having difficulty with the theory, how do you manage the practical at the same time? Often an older class can be trained to do other tasks until you have time... KS3 students do not have the patience. It will help if you have a TA and a technician. We don't have a tech and help from TA's is spread thinly with SEN students/ groups taking priority (rightly so) but there used to be an understanding that large groups in food could have help if there was any extra bodies in the SEN department.
    Are you on a carousel system? Will this group move into other areas? If so, what do the other staff in the carousel think?
    I believe that 21 is classed as the safe number and recommended by unions and I believe that is too many. 20 students means that in our food rooms the staff unit is also used... I don't have any more work space. One room is smaller in sq. ft. than the other, so 18 is a tight squeeze in the smaller room. Another idea is to split the practical over 2 lessons, if you have two... which means dividing up recipes into two sessions and being able to store what has already been made until the next lesson.
    See what other groups are on at the same time, if there are 3 groups of Y7, can you move the numbers around? You need to fight this on safety reasons and if you don't make your reasons clear now it will become the norm. Older students can collect extra equipment/ help each other more responsibly but even then 25 is the beginning of a nightmare number, no matter how organised you are. Get other tech staff on side and your union if necessary... and remember, don't be swayed by comparisons with science. If a science practical isn't finished it can be packed away - inconvenient - but it can, food has to be completed and cleared away after for the next class.
    Hope this helps.
     
  5. If you'd like to get in touch with us at the Association, we can give you a copy of the LA letter we use advising them of their breach of insurance and British standards once the groups go over the size that the room is designed for. That usually does the trick. Have you had your H&S training?
    Louise
    www.data.org.uk
     
  6. How do we calculate how many pupils our rooms can accommodate and how do I get a copy of this letter?
     
  7. Thank you for all of your responses. I do have a technician but not when that class is on. They will do all areas of D&T but again with me. I am concerned about health and safety. I do not think I will be doing the split lesson approach as I can see students not completing work in theory and not understanding what they are doing.
     
  8. Our food room is small so we measured it and found from the DATA website that iit is probably only big enough for 14 - 16 students. However school say it is big enough but aslohave told teachers in Food to only have half the group cooking and maintain that it is possible to do an outstanding lesson with half cooking and half doing theory. However they have left it up to teachers to do own risk assessment so one teacher always has them all cooking. Groups vary from 19 - 23. One Food teacher is an ex PE teacher and has been teaching Food for years now without formal training.
     
  9. I think the advice received once was to let only 20 cook and to explain to the others they would not be cooking. Parents would soon complain.
     

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