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Thought food

A new food technology pack gets the recipe right, says Ali Farrell

GCSE Design Technology for AQA: Food Technology By Lesley Woods Series editor Geoff Hancock Heinemann Evaluation pack (Student Book, Teacher's Resource File and CD-Rom) pound;79.99 Student Book pound;12.99 Teacher's Resource File pound;12.99 www.heinemann.co.uk

This resource, one of a new series from Heinemann, comprises a student book and a teacher's resource file including CD-Rom, and is designed to support students and teachers in the AQA GSCE in DT: Food technology.

It comprehensively addresses the AQA GCSE Food Technology specification. At the same time it is not prescriptive and allows teachers to make their own decisions as to how to make the best use of it. The suggested scheme of work in the teacher's file makes a useful delivery model of well-structured units that promote progression and continuity.

The teacher's file includes guidance on using the different elements of the resource and specific guidance on each of the chapters in the student book.

The CD-Rom provides useful websites, ICT help-sheets, worksheets and pro-formas in electronic form which can be customised.

The content-led, rather than process-led, structure provides a clear route through the specification. Each chapter of the student book addresses a specific food topic and covers the essential information needed by students at an appropriate depth and level of detail for KS4. The student book effectively addresses the basics in terms of food knowledge and understanding, while extending into newer curriculum areas such as modern and smart foods and industrial practices. There is useful and up-to-date coverage of the ICT and CADCAM elements of the course.

The CD-Rom is a little disappointing, however. While the pro-formas, helpsheets and worksheets are useful to have in electronic format, it would have been good to also include more interactive materials, for example,to support the industrial practices case studies in the student book. This seems like a missed opportunity.

The student book is in full colour, attractively designed and contains a reasonable balance of text to illustrations - diagrams, photos and drawings. Language and presentation styles are accessible to a range of KS4 abilities. The step-by-step guide to doing a coursework project provides a clear approach.

Photocopiable sheets in the teacher's file are differentiated (core, foundation and extension levels), so are suitable for a range of student needs and abilities. These sheets are clearly set out and appropriately visual.

This resource is well devised and put together. It combines new ideas with those that have been around for some time, putting a refreshing slant on them, supporting the teaching and learning principles of the newly emerging National Strategy and DT Framework. While tailored to the AQA GCSE specification, it contains plenty of useful information and guidance for any GCSE course.

Ali Farrell is director of FoodForum www.foodforum.org.uk

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