Food in Academy Curricula


I have been asked to comment on the place of teaching food in Academies and this is my response….”

My understanding is that Academies are exempt from teaching the National Curriculum. The only yardstick by which you will be judged in the new accountability measures are GCSE performance which involves both the progress pupils make compared to their predicted performance across a suite of 8 subjects, the attainment in 8 subjects, the percentage of pupils achieving a C or better in English and math and the EBacc.

Progress 8 and Attainment 8 apply to

  • a double weighted English element (the English Language qualification will count for this element, but will only be double weighted if the pupil has also taken English Literature);
  • a double weighted maths element;
  •  three slots reserved for other EBacc subjects (sciences, computer science,  geography, history and languages).
  •  three slots that can be taken up by further qualifications from the range of EBacc subjects, or any other high value arts, academic, or vocational qualification. The department will produce a list of approved, high value vocational qualifications every year. English Literature will count in this group of subjects.

You can find the document at

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/249893/Consultation_response_Secondary_School_Accountability_Consultation_14-Oct-13_v3.pdf

I think d&t fits within the  any other high value arts, academic, or vocational qualification slot as an academic subject.

If an Academy does decide to follow the National curriculum then learning about food occurs in three places within the design & technology PoS

Within Make in the statements concerning Design, Make Evaluate

  • select from and use a wider, more complex range of materials, components and ingredients, taking into account their properties

The use of the term ‘ingredients’ implies that pupils will be designing and making with food

Within Technical knowledge

  • understand and use the properties of materials and the performance of structural elements to achieve functioning solutions

This statement can be applied to designing and making with food.

Within Cooking and Nutrition

  • pupils should be taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating specifically at KS3
  • understand and apply the principles of nutrition and health § cook a repertoire of predominantly savoury dishes so that they are able to feed
  • themselves and others a healthy and varied diet
  • become competent in a range of cooking techniques [for example, selecting and preparing ingredients; using utensils and electrical equipment; applying heat in different ways; using awareness of taste, texture and smell to decide how to season dishes and combine ingredients; adapting and using their own recipes]
  • understand the source, seasonality and characteristics of a broad range of ingredients.

To my mind this is mainly a life skill approach and the problem with this for d&t is that to do this properly requires time in excess of what is normally available in the food technology component of d&t. This inevitably leads to pupils experiencing a very limited food technology programme at KS3 and poor preparation for food technology at KS4. The solution to this problem could be to place the teaching and learning required for Cooking and Nutrition into PSHE.

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