Technology is comprised of three subject areas:
- Product design
- Textile technology
- Food and nutrition
State-of-the-art facilities for the teaching of food, including two superbly equipped food rooms, with extensive equipment and resources are available to pupils from first year to sixth form.
Food technology in the lower school
Pupils develop a basic understanding of the nutritional requirements of a healthy diet through mainly practical sessions. Pupils learn basic food preparation techniques with particular focus on fruit and vegetables. The pupils are given information about sensible choices of school lunches.
Pupils complete the chef one star award through a scone design activity.
Pupils work on a range of tasks including convenience food products and the study of various types of staple foods eg pasta, rice, potatoes, noodles and different types of bread. This is supported by instruction on a range of more advanced food preparation and cooking techniques.
Pupils complete the chef two star award through a pasta and sauce design activity.
Pupils extend their first and second year work on the importance of proper nutrition in leading a healthy lifestyle. They also look at prevention of food poisoning by learning about the correct storage and preparation of food.
Pupils develop their practical skills further, by using a wide range of electrical equipment, from microwaves to food processors. They also develop their skills, eg sauce making and pastry making, which prepares them for further study at GCSE level.
They complete the chef three star award through a food-based design and research activity linked to a specific country or culture.
Subject time per 10-day cycle
First year – one lesson with half an hour of homework per week for approximately 10 lessons
Second year – one lesson with half an hour of homework per week for approximately 20 lessons
Third year – one lesson with half an hour of homework for approximately 16 lessons
GCSE – five lessons plus homework
A-level – 10 lessons with additional individual study
Food Technology further up the school
At GCSE, the AQA food and nutrition course is designed to investigate the relationship between nutrition, diet, food choice and health.
It develops pupils’ ability to make informed choices regarding healthy diet and the effect of availability of food products. It also provides them with the skills of an informed consumer when choosing goods and services.
The course is assessed by a 90-minute written paper (40%) and two pieces of controlled assessment (15% and 45%) which involve investigating/researching a topic set by the exam board and then carrying out practical work to support this.
The A-level course is academically challenging, with 25% coursework and 75% exam (three 90-minute papers). The coursework is an individual investigation culminating in a 3,000 word report on a question that they devised and have researched from any part of the AS/A2 specification.
It focuses on developing knowledge, skills and understanding of food, nutrition and health.
The AS course examines the welfare state, NHS, environmental issues, human resources (food, housing and money management), equipment, consumer issues and food safety.
The A2 course comprises of nutrition (nutrients and meal planning) and new product development in industry, together with key issues eg genetically-modified food and food miles, with the opportunity to choose any area of interest from the AS or A2 specification for coursework.
Several trips are organised including for sixth formers including Cadbury World and the BBC Good Food Show and pupils attend talks by the environmental health officer, trading standards officer and a diabetic nurse.
Our annual Masterchef competition, open to pupils in the lower school and middle school, is always a highlight of the food technology calendar.
The standard of cooking in the competition is always very high, with pupils having to progress through two rounds to reach the final where their creations are judged by a head chef from a top local restaurant, which in recent years have included Heathcotes and the Grill on the Edge.
A middle school, lower school and overall prize are awarded each year, with Emily Banks’s sea bass and lemon salt followed by caramelised peaches with marsala wine, Luke Berry’s stilton stuffed pear with a balsamic reduction followed by Patagonian beef with dauphinois potatoes, Emma Winder’s Thai green curry with sticky coconut rice and Francesca Bailey’s salmon steak with avocado and crème fraîche served with grilled asparagus followed by a saucy chocolate pot taking the last four winners’ prizes.
And as well as the trophy and a voucher for the judge’s restaurant, our winners often find that their dish is on the chef’s daily specials board on the day they claim their prize!
Beef and lamb young chef challenge
Stockport Grammar pupils also regularly taste success in the Red Tractor beef and lamb young chef challenge, judged by TV chef James Martin.
In recent years, Mona Amet, Katy Bacon, Charlotte Biondi, Emilia Biondi, Amelia Cropper, Rebecca Fernandes, Charlie Kirker, Ed Robinson and Emma Winder have all made it through to the north-west final, with Heather Tallents and Jaina Mistry being named as regional winners.
BBC Good Food show
The department takes part in an annual visit to the BBC Good Food show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.
The trip allows our sixth form pupils to learn about the new equipment and products available in the catering world, as well as the chance to sample foods and learn tips from top celebrity chefs.
A trip to Cadbury World, run jointly with the business and economics department, also lets our sixth form pupils witness large scale food production and operations management first-hand.
Creative cuisine club
The department’s creative cuisine club is open to any first year pupil who would like to create some interesting sweet and savoury dishes.
The club runs every fortnight on a Tuesday afternoon after school.
The club is very popular and operates on a first come, first served basis. Pupils should sign up for each session on the list which is put up outside T5 every fortnight.
Cake decorating and Christmas cake club
As well as creative cuisine club, the department also run a cake decorating club for third year pupils and, in the autumn term, a Christmas cake club for first years.