Working with Fife College, Waid Academy currently has five pupils studying a Level 4 Practical Cookery Foundation Apprenticeship (FA). This course enables those with a real talent and passion for cooking to learn the practical, transferable skills they need to work in a commercial kitchen. The majority of these youngsters do not want or would not follow an academic route into food technology but want to learn hands on skills in food preparation and service.
Five Waid Academy pupils with additional support needs or barriers to learning are currently enrolled on a two day a week, Level 4 FA with Fife College learning practical cookery skills, food hygiene and customer service. Each week they spend one day baking an item to sell and cooking a starter, main or dessert. On their second day they set up and run the training restaurant at the college, open to students and staff, selling a selection of drinks and their sweet and savoury goods. They will also be undertaking a day a week on work placement as part of the FA. They are making excellent progress and are on track to pass their award and once the course is completed, they will have a clear progression route to transition onto a full-time hospitality course.
The Level 4 FA can serve as a starter route into a more advanced course at college, especially for those who have become disengaged with education or have struggled in a classroom setting and may not have the other entrance qualifications needed. Attending college while still being at school has built up our pupils’ confidence and has made the prospect of leaving school and moving onto a full-time college course much less daunting and much more achievable.
Cheryl Weston, School Attendance Support Officer said,
“The difference in these pupils is amazing. At college they blossom and are so much more confident than in a school environment. They are able to listen to and follow instructions and even though the course is very physically demanding, with them on their feet most of the day as they would in an actual restaurant kitchen they are so focused and engaged. I cant recommend these FAs enough when I see the difference they make to pupils.”
One of our S4 pupils who is taking part in the Foundation Apprenticeship said,
“I was really worried about it but now I’m there its great and I’m really happy I am able to do it (attend college). I didn’t know how to cook before and I have learned so much, I am really proud of myself, I am doing better than I ever thought I would.”