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KS4 Food - a dilema

Discussion in 'Design and technology' started by Simon67, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. Simon67

    Simon67 New commenter

    Evening all
    A question for Food teachers...
    As a school we have not been in a position to offer KS4 Food for a number of years - mainly due to the specialisms of the staff in the department. We do KS3 - or rather - I do KS3, but I am a rm and GP specialist, and as such I cope, at times, just!
    Now of course the question has been posed. Will I offer KS4 Food?
    My first instinct is to run a mile. However, that might not be possible. So, some questions...
    Which exam syllabus is easiest for a layperson to understand?
    Which syllabus (if any) has a specific textbook dedicated to it?
    Which syllabus - in your opinion - would be easiest for a non-specialist to mudde through successfully?
    No - it's not ideal, but it might be that its the way it has to be!
  2. I would have to say, stay well clear of Food technology and teach OCR Food and nutrition. I have been doing this for a couple of years now and really love it.
    The coursework is broken down into 3 short tasks and 1 extended task. in terms of controlled assessment the exam board only expect the practicals to be done and assessed in school so the students can 'prepare' the rest of the coursewrok at home and work on it in school.
    The syalbus is dead straight forward and there is a very good book to go with it.
    Plus, my kids have really loved it,, you can fit so much practical into it and your not having to do all the boring stuff that's in food tech like HACCP, Packaging and industrial techniques (I am someone with over 7 years industry experience as well) which even I find boring and difficult to enthuse the kids about.
    If you want any further info send me your e-mail and I will forward you some stuff

  3. Golden78 can I querry something here - if you are talking about OCR - the 3 short tasks are "high level" control and as such all work done in the classroom with a teacher present. That is our understanding. The food study is coursework & the theory side can be worked on at home as well as in school. We changed to food & Nut 3 years ago and have to say much prefer it although I know that the spec for food technology has changed to have less or little industry stuff in it.
    I believe both OCR & AQA have text books to support the spec - my reaction would be - It should be a specialist teacher, as a food teacher no way would I even think I could teach graphics or rm at KS4 & it should be the same for food - many think including SMT that if you can cook at home ......... & it is not the same - we changed the thinking of our smt when we had a deputy head observe a lesson (who teaches science) shocked at the amount of science that had to be taught & understood - he was thinking of doing "some food" on his timetable up until that point!
  4. jillyo
    The higher level of control relates to the practicals which quite rightly must be done in school and that OCR set the task titles that can be used. If you look at the spec under the assessment it states that they are operate a medium level of control for the coursework
    <font face="Arial" size="3">
    </font><font face="Arial" size="3"></font><font face="Arial" size="3"><font face="Arial" size="3">"Some of the work, by its very nature, may be undertaken outside the centre, for example research work or testing. It is likely that using or applying this material will be undertaken under direct teacher supervision. With all internally assessed work, the teacher must be satisfied that the work submitted for assessment is the candidate&rsquo;s own work"

    At the start up meeting that I attended that was run by the chief examiner, she confirmed that it was acceptable for students to produce work at home and that it was the fact that they controlled the assessment titles and that all practical work must be undertaken in a supervised school setting.
  5. alan1970

    alan1970 New commenter

    Interesting question as we currently offer AQA GCSE Food Tech and it is an absolute pain to deliver in terms of organisation and delivery. I have a specialist teacher to deliver Food (as I have a wide range of silly food allergies and therefore can't touch raw fruit and veg etc.) who is quite capable but has a lot of time off due to illness etc. and this clearly affects attainment and progress re: controlled assessment tasks etc. I think it is worthwhile really reviewing what options are available to you because this obviously needs to be right for the school and your students. Beware the SLT trap of manoeuvring you into a corner that you cannot get out of. Think carefully and if your gut is telling you no, then say no and mean it...
    Wish you all the best with your decisions.
  6. We too had that the first year, but we now use it to their advantage. We get the kids to construct a "framework" from their practise one, keep this on the computer and then slot in the work as they do it. So for example they know that they will need to do time plans so have the outline of a basic one and slot into their CA using their recipe(s). We have a lesson on writting taste testers questions & then they store a bank of these, and then "drop" 3 or 4 into each practical, so over several they will have a variety of questions
    There are several things that need to be done the same or similar which they can store/bank and then use as necessay. They start with the mark scheme decide how the CA breaks down into sections, see the common threads and go from there. That way it gives us more time for practicals.
    But off to OCR on Monday, so hoping for more ideas too
  7. lapinrose

    lapinrose Star commenter

    Where are you? I'm a retired Food teacher and could work a couple of days a week for you.
  8. Simon67

    Simon67 New commenter

    Thanks for all your comments.
    My concern with the Food + Nutrition course is all the theory content - whilst still there in the Food Tech courses, the later have the DESIGN element included which I would be able to offer. I have no issues with my practical skills - but have with my theory skills. Our Leadership team are aware of this, and will be in writing if I go for it.
    At the moment, employing a Food teacher is a no-no... quote "then the Department would be overstaffed....(left dangling)..."
  9. In that case OCR Food Technology- but ideally under the product design( I think) where you choose which material to do it in? Failing that Food Tech.
    Same mark scheme as D+T will make it far easier + sustainability will be very similar.
    Remember, unlike in KS3 lessons where most students are making the same or modifications of the same dishes, in KS4 coursework sessions usually involve all students making different dishes- which can be a very different in terms of organisation. ( not trying to put you off, however far more stressful).
    Just a thought- we once had one of our science staff to teach some of the course which worked really well as they clearly know the science stuff( if they too are over staffed)
  10. alan1970

    alan1970 New commenter

    The depth of knowledge and analytical prowess that is required by the students to demonstrate in their coursework makes me wonder whether AQA GCSE food technology is not more appropriate for the academic and more able than the more practically minded...
  11. Dear Simon 67
    The Edexcell exam board is very user friendly .The specification is very easy to follow and the pupils can score very highly. I have taught both AQA and Excell and prefer Edexcell. Do not even attempt OCR . It is very onerous and not easy for the pupil.
    The Edexcell exam board also has a dedicated textbook which you can follow. Their online support is very good.
    I would recommend Edexcell.


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