In the Junior School the emphasis is on handling food and learning skills such as cutting, slicing and chopping and basic methods of cooking. Practical work ranges from making banana custard to making bread, cakes and stir-fry chicken. This is carried out through themes such as weighing and measuring, using convenience foods wisely, and enzymes and bacteria in cooking.
Year 9 students are introduced to more complex recipes where they can reinforce the Healthy Eating theme whilst improving their skills. During the year, pupils also carry out an assignment based on the Sainsbury’s Cooking Challenge. Pupils have to choose, plan and make a dish on a set theme and complete a display.
GCSE pupils complete work based on nutrition, food commodities and hygiene during five and a half terms. They complete several assignments including fats in cooking, meat cooking, vegetarians and children’s meals. The three coursework assignments comprise 50% of the final grade and the examination takes place during the sixth term of the course.
Sixth Form students are offered the opportunity to study this double award vocational GCSE. It is generally a two year course covering the promotion of ‘Health and Well Being’, ‘Health, Social Care and Early Years Provision’, and ‘Understanding Personal Development and Relationships’.
Classwork consists mainly of discussions on relevant issues. There are several visits to care establishments including 'Mums and Toddlers' groups, a 'Special Needs' playgroup and 'Elderly' residential homes. Visiting speakers give talks on subjects as diverse as 'The Role of the Midwife' and 'Occupational Therapy for the Elderly'.
Assessment is by written exam (33.3%) and a portfolio of work including case studies (66.6%).