Blog: Didcot Girls' School
As part of the Love British Food - #BritishFoodisGreat activity - producers, chefs, farmers and schools were encouraged to get involved.
Sara Jones who is in charge of Food Preparation and Nutrition at Didcot Girls' School in Didcot, Oxfordshire tells us below how they got involved:
We LOVE the #BritishFoodisGreat sign and this term its been fantastic to be able to use it LOTS!
The GCSE students have recently been learning about fish and the fishing industry. The key skill they learnt was how to gut and fillet fish. The students were then tasked with creating a dish using these new skills and utilising British produce. The new GCSE in Food Preparation and Nutrition has a huge section on food provenance and the importance of where our food comes from.
The GCSE coursework this year revolved around students being asked to design and make dishes using locally sourced foods. We were lucky enough to have
a visit from Emily at Wessex Mill in Wantage who told us all about the entire process of "field to flour" from local sourcing to delivery. We were
lucky enough to go on a trip to Sheepdrove Organic Farm to learn about their Organic farming methods.
The brief set by EDUQAS successfully encouraged the students to interact with local producers within their communities resulting in them visiting many local producers. We are so lucky to have so many amazing artisans and producers in our surrounding counties, all of whom were more than happy to help us.
In February we took part in the Taste of Game and Food Teacher Centre's School Game Changer programme, Simon Gray from the Food Teachers Centre spent two fantastic days with us.
On the Friday Simon ran a pheasant student master class for year 9 and 10 showing them how to butcher a pheasant, mince the meat and turn it into meatballs. Everyone got stuck in with the butchery and Simon said "I was really impressed with the 'can do' attitude as well as the high-level skills the girls displayed. Simon left us with a freezer full of pheasant which we have since used and made a wide variety of dishes. We also got out and about in our school community promoting pheasant by handing out taster! These went down really well, with everyone asking for more!
We also have a local cookery competition called Create and Cook in connection with the CO-OP which has involved KS3. They were asked to produce a summer dish using locally sourced produce with a list of local suppliers.
The girls’ really love the “#Britishfoodisgreat” sign and are now all desperate to get to use it in their lessons. It has been a great talking point as well as encouraging them to think more about the ingredients they are using and where they come from.
We have just joined forces with a local butchers in Didcot, Calnan Brothers. They have set us a challenge to design a new flavour of sausage using local produce. The winning sausage will be produced and sold in their shop later this year. We can’t wait to get designing.
Finally, we are planning a visit in June to Ramsbury Estates, where we will be lucky enough to follow a few processes “from field to bottle”, looking at milk and rape seed oil production. We are very lucky to have people who are more than happy to welcome us and to show us how their industries work.
I really love my job and I am lucky enough to work in a school who really supports what I do and appreciates what an important role the Food industry has in our society. You can follow us on twitter @dgsfood to see what we are up to.