The quality of vocational learning and vocational relevance has been the subject of much debate in recent years, as documented in numerous inspection reports. Additionally, Design and Technology teachers and learners have sometimes struggled to identify suitable resources and 'real life' situations to both enhance and provide evidence for some aspects of the GCSE and NVQ syllabuses. Any opportunity then, which could support GCSE and NVQ students would be extremely well received. In March 2005 a workshop organised by a local business in Rotherham, presented such an opportunity for pre and post -16 students to gather information, gain an insight into the ‘world of Coffee’ and get a practical opportunity to prepare and pour that ‘perfect’ cup of coffee. This was a pilot project within the borough, but whilst developing it, it was hoped, to roll it out to all schools and colleges thus contributing to raising achievement across the borough, improving student motivation and ultimately facilitating progression to higher level programmes and employment. It was also hoped that D&T teachers and lecturers would also have the same opportunities as the students to develop expertise and experience in this speciality area of hospitality and catering.
Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council has 16 secondary schools, 4 special schools and 4 colleges. One of the colleges is a Centre of Vocational Excellence (COVE) for Hospitality and Catering. The Coffee Exchange is a very successful local Rotherham business, providing coffee, training and equipment to several hundred outlets across South Yorkshire. Barista training is gaining in popularity nationally. It literally means, ‘an Espresso machine operator who understands coffee and the Espresso machine’s purpose’. Most ‘dedicated’ coffee shops, café’s and restaurants have a Barista machine and it is likely that during visits we’ve all seen one!
Aims and anticipated outcomes
The project to...