activity. Because completion of the log book is crucial to completing the course, it is in evidence throughout all activities in the restaurant and kitchens.
At the same time, students are ‘working’ in the restaurant, taking orders (‘writing checks’), reading and explaining menus to customers, reading booking entries in the diary, working the bar and the till, reading the whiteboard in the kitchen with details of the dishes and who is cooking what, accessing the computer for information about customers’ special requirements, and filling in electronic templates for customers’ bills and cash summary sheets. At other times they are designing and writing menus, posters and leaflets for use in the restaurant. In addition students are asked to complete assignments, such as, at level 1, researching how to find a job and complete a CV, culminating in a mock interview, and designing and costing a menu to fit given criteria. One student explained how he had learnt to describe the same dish in a variety of styles, ranging from a £7 meal to one for £40. This might appear to be the kind of activity required of an A level Media student, rather than level 2 Catering.
Although many students found no difficulty in completing their log books, some struggled with it. Two students required individual help with writing down what they had done in the restaurant, whilst apparently having had no difficulty in actually doing it. The same students had no problem with writing orders, checking the computerised restaurant bookings and so on. The students acknowledged that the conventions of the formal literacy practice of completing a log book were different from those of the workplace-based practice of writing a check.