“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.”
— James Beard
The Cooking and Nutrition Curriculum at Newark Academy provides pupils with an essential life skill along with a breadth of opportunity to experience the magic and joy involved in transforming ingredients into dishes and products that elevate our senses, expand our horizons, bring families together and gives opportunity to share experiences.
Students become independent learners who are creative and critical thinkers as well as independent and collaborative learners. We aspire to instil a deep love of cooking that exposes learners to one of the greatest expressions of human creativity in the modern world. Learning how to cook is a critical and crucial life skill that enables students to feed themselves and others affordably but also involves a vast array of cross curricular opportunities that embed the learning of multiple subjects further as well as developing a wider understanding of the necessity for a healthy and nutritious diet for themselves, their families and the communities in which they live.
Our intelligently designed and sequenced curriculum provides a richness of experience that captures imagination, enhances creativity and exposes pupils to experiences that broaden their understanding of not just food but the world in which we live. The students experience a curriculum that deliberately steps away from the traditional methods of teaching Cooking and Nutrition, instead embracing a diverse themed approach that allows the students to take a journey around the globe with the exploration of cultures, traditions and history influencing the dishes they create. This is carefully balanced between practical and theory based lessons with on-going assessment through written work and practical outcomes to work on continual improvement and development.
The knowledge, skills and understanding of where food comes from, the concept of seasonality and characteristics of ingredients forge an important story to be discovered. The students are taught to be responsive to how our food choices are not only influenced by lifestyle, diet, cost and culture, environmental factors and animal welfare but important to consider to ensure a broader balance for all. Pupils know what tastes good but also need to be sensitive to the impact of the food they create and consume on themselves and others, including the environment.
The curriculum aims to inspire not only the future Hospitality and Catering professionals of the future, but well educated and skill individuals that can support themselves and others, this is accomplished through:
- Continued exposure to a range of successful role models from across the food industry to develop realistic understanding the demands and reward the sector can bring for a range of abilities.
- Exposure to local artisan producers to broaden the understanding of supporting local business.
- Development of purposefully selected professionally used terminology, encouraging students to speak, write and create like experts.
- Continued use of cross curricular references often using skills in a realistic environment to understand concepts with greater understanding.
- Development of personal attributes that will improve employability in any industry.
- Explicit investigation of current food trends dictated from industry to allow pupils the confidence to explore and use a range of exciting ingredients and processes, prompting new idea generation or modify existing recipes with new techniques and food styling of their own.
- Expose pupils to the contrasts of producing food items to an artisan scale against the industrial requirements for mass production.
- Extensive opportunity to showcase their culinary and creative skills on school social media, open days and whole school events. Embracing the ability to develop and demonstrate their unique talents and individuality through our curriculum.
Our pupils will experience opportunities that enable them to develop personally, grow as knowledgeable learners and clarify their understanding as to how, through the richness of our Cooking and Nutrition Curriculum, they impact positively on society both on a local and global scale.