Cooking up a storm: Pinjarra Senior High School to start hospitality course

YES CHEF: Year 11 students Charlotte Estrella and Kyle Saunders catering for school guests at a morning tea in December. Photo: Adrian Toh
YES CHEF: Year 11 students Charlotte Estrella and Kyle Saunders catering for school guests at a morning tea in December. Photo: Adrian Toh

In 2018, a special group of Pinjarra Senior High School’s Year 11 students became the first to take part in the school’s Certificate II in Hospitality course.

The course was introduced into the school curriculum for the first time last year, with this first class of 14 students resuming the course again in 2019 as Year 12 students.

The certificate course prepares students for the hospitality industry by teaching them basic food preparation and cookery skills. 

Students with this qualification could potentially work in various hospitality settings such as restaurants, hotels, motels, catering operations, clubs, pubs, cafes, and coffee shops.

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Pinjarra Senior High School student and course participant Charlotte Estrella spoke glowingly about her first year in the course.

“The year started off with the basics. We were taught about occupational health and safety and how to work with others,” she said.

“Then we quickly progressed to learning the subtle differences of sandwich and salad making, along with food service. This helped us prepare for the many functions we have been involved in this year.

“We have learnt to cater for small groups of 10 people for lunch. We served 60 people a light supper, and catered for 95 people at a morning tea event.”

Under the guidance and instruction of teacher Marisa Barr, the students not only honed their skills in food preparation, but also in the preparation of coffee, which led to an interesting development on the school campus.

During the second semester of the year, the students established ‘School Grounds Coffee’, a service which sells coffee to the school’s staff.

The service was well received and is scheduled to return at the Pinjarra school in 2019.

“As the second half of the year began we were introduced to our new coffee machine and another aspect of the course, which was to prepare and serve espresso coffee,” Estrella said.

“Although it sounds fairly easy, we soon discovered there is a lot more to making coffee than simply making coffee.”

“Once we had sufficient training, we were serving the school staff espressos, lattes, flat whites and macchiato drinks.”

The introduction of the hospitality course at Pinjarra Senior High School coincides with the outstanding success of Year 12 student Brandi Burnett.

Burnett won a gold medal in the Worldskills National Championship in the Food and Beverage category earlier in 2018.