Staffing of the department
Mr Xavier – Head of Department
Mrs Woolgar – Teacher of Food
No part of our economy matters more than food. It is vital for life, and for pleasure. It shapes our sense of family, community and nation: cooking and eating together is perhaps the defining communal act. The food system also provides jobs for one in seven of us.
Much of this is made possible by a free market that performs a million daily miracles, producing, exporting, importing, processing and serving up a dazzling variety of reasonably-priced foods in an abundance unimaginable to previous generations.But this bounty has come at a cost. Intensive farming practises have caused serious damage to the environment and the food related disease is costing the NHS billions and drastically harming the lives of millions. Food security, too, is a growing concern: population growth, climate change, the global increase in meat eating are intensifying resource competition between nations.
Aims of the curriculum
All of the girls at St. Ursula’s complete a twelve week Food unit each year through key stage 3. During this short time we aim to deliver learning that takes account of the National Curriculum for Cooking and Nutrition, the British Nutrition Foundation Core Competencies and meet the requirements of the PSHE curriculum which includes Healthy Eating as mandatory from September 2020. At the end of key stage 3, there is the option for girls to continue and develop their studies through the GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition course.
Our key stage 3 curriculum is driven by a vision of what we believe all students should know, understand and be able to do by the end of key stage 3.
We want all girls to be able to cook a range of dishes that would give them the skill, competence, confidence and resilience to undertake preparing and cooking dishes independently, safely, affordably, nutritiously to feed themselves now and later on in life.
We want all our girls to be able to make informed decisions about how the food they consume will impact on the health of their body and mind both now and in the future.
All girls should have an understanding of the multitude of choices we can make as consumers, understanding the potential impact that growing, rearing and processing foods can have on people and the planet.
Our year 7 unit introduces girls to safe and hygienic practice in the kitchen and the principles of working with food safely using the 4Cs ( cleaning, cooking, chilling and cross contamination ). Starting with some simple recipes they are introduced to kitchen skills and techniques and quickly gain confidence and begin to take on more complex recipes. Girls are introduced to healthy eating guidelines, using the eatwell guide and begin to understand the concept of nutrients. We focus on the fruit and vegetable section of the eatwell guide, the importance of breakfast and the impact of sugar. Through looking at food labelling and nutritional value the girls start to understand how labelling and their own knowledge can affect their choice as consumers.
In year 8 the girls continue to develop practical skills and confidence working with a wider range of ingredients and producing more complex dishes. This includes starting to understand the scientific role of ingredients in food like the function of yeast and gluten. Their understanding of healthy eating deepens as we explore carbohydrates and fat in more depth and how our lifestyle choices can significantly affect our health now and in the future.
The year 9 unit includes some complex and challenging dishes to really grow the girls practical further still so that they can finish year 9 feeling like they could tackle many recipes. The girls continue to develop understanding of healthy eating, this time focusing on the need and sources of protein and the specific dietary needs of teenagers. The girls will also explore how our ethics and morals can affect our food choice as they investigate farming methods and the impact of food production on the environment