Food & Nutrition

Curriculum Intent 

The food and nutrition department’s aims are to provide practical and healthy well-being skills and knowledge that will benefit the students and their families throughout their lives and to help shape the health of the nation in the future. 

Food is essential for life because everyone needs it to survive and live and is a common requirement throughout the world.  Being able to live independently armed with the understanding and skills of how to cook healthy, nutritious, well-balanced meals will enable pupils to grow up with less dependence on convenience foods and fast food thus improving the nation’s health.  In a society where obesity levels are rising it is very important to understand how to achieve a healthy, balanced diet for life, irrespective of budget and cultural/dietary restrictions.  It is also important that students are taught these invaluable life skills so they then have the ability to pass these on to future generations, so that the love and ability to cook and prepare home cooked food continues.

Throughout KS3 students are offered one lesson a week of food and nutrition.  Pupils are encouraged to understand the importance of nutrition and health as part of their everyday life.  Pupils are taught to prepare and cook a variety of predominantly savoury dishes, to suit a range of budgets and dietary and cultural needs.  Pupils become skilled in a range of preparation and cooking techniques.  They are taught safety and hygiene linked to food preparation and food storage.  Homework is set to broaden and embed their knowledge and understanding of the subject and supports their learning in class.

At KS4 we offer GCSE AQA Food preparation and nutrition, where pupils build upon the foundations taught at KS3 and progress their practical skills further, alongside their knowledge and understanding of nutrition, food provenance and the functional and chemical properties of food science.  They learn how to apply their skills and knowledge to create a range of dishes from scratch, showing creativity and independency and that are adapted to suit different dietary needs and cultural and religious differences, whilst developing their understanding of where food comes from and also developing their decision-making skills. Pupils are also taught how to evaluate their work and refine ideas to create many different, highly skilled dishes to meet with the specifications set by the exam board. 

In year 11, Pupils carry out 2 controlled assessment pieces of work, which are set by the exam board and which total 50% of their GCSE.  The first tests their scientific understanding of the working characteristics, functional and chemical properties of ingredients.  The second tests their knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to the planning, preparation and cooking, presentation of food and application of nutrition related to a given task.    They also undertake an exam worth 50% of their GCSE, which tests their theoretical knowledge of food preparation and nutrition.

At KS4 we also offer the OCR Cambridge National in Child Development.  It contains two centre assessed units with practical task-based assessment opportunities, as well as an examined unit covering topics such as: responsibilities of parenthood, contraception and reproduction, antenatal, health, delivery, postnatal checks, illnesses and child safety, has resulted in a focused qualification which complements a Key Stage 4 study programme alongside other vocational qualifications and GCSEs.

Classes are taught in mixed ability groups at KS3 and KS4.  The curriculum is designed to enable all students, whatever their ability to progress in both their skills and their knowledge and understanding.  Work is differentiated to support students, with extension tasks for those who require more challenge.  Recipes can be adapted to make them suitable for their families and their specific needs (whether that be dietary, cultural, portion size or budget) and can also be adapted to meet different abilities.  Work at KS3 is mainly independent, especially practical work, however, with some group and paired work in written and design tasks.  At KS4 practical work is done both independently and in groups, especially when partaking in science-based experiments. Teaching methods are varied so as to engage and enthuse the pupils which leads to success for the subject.

Students are encouraged at KS4 to develop their practical skills and knowledge.  In both food and Child Development guest speakers are invited where appropriate and external visits will be arranged if they tie in with the curriculum.  Examples are health visitors, nurses, visits to the outside food manufacturers and also exhibitions.  Other opportunities are also being explored and reviewed for both KS3 and KS4.

The food industry exists worldwide and is a multi-billion industry which is ever evolving to keep up with new demands and technologies.  Food preparation skills could be used for jobs in catering, product development, marketing, food journalism, leisure and tourism, restaurants and within the sports and nutrition field.  Just about anywhere.   It is also a vital life skill which is essential for all.  It also links very well with other jobs and careers which are also leant in Child Development like teaching, child care, nursery care, nursing, midwifery and social care.

We are well equipped with two food rooms which have all the essentials needed to teach the subject.  Specialist equipment is used at GCSE to enable students to develop greater skills using equipment similar to those used in the food industry.  Access to computers to carry out nutritional analysis is also available.  Child Development is taught in rooms where there is access to computers, needed for research and controlled assessment tasks.  We are fully staffed with a Head of Faculty and two additional food and nutrition staff.


Curriculum Overview - Food & Nutrition



Year 8



Design a grain salad

And about cereals as a staple in the diet




End of term celebration practical






Fair trade



Sugar and carbohydrates

Fibre and water and vegetarian diets

End of year exam


Year 9

Milk, dairy, cheese, & calcium, & primary and secondary processing

Eggs & End of term celebration practical

Protein (Including alternative protein), taste testing and nutritional analysis

Pastry and Easter practical


Cultural, food choice & food provenance


Year 10

Chapter 4 -

Functional and chemical properties of food: protein, carbohydrates

A range of skill based practicals that link to the topic

Practical work:

Speciality bread

Chilled lemon dessert

Panna Cotta with coulis

Lemon meringue pie




Functional and chemical properties of food Functional and chemical properties of food: fats and raising agents

A range of skill based practicals that link to the topic

Science experiments – different fats for cakes

Practical work



Puff pastry – cheese twists

celebration practical – decorated swiss roll (homemade swiss roll)



Nutrition and nutritional needs and health

A range of skill based practicals that link to the topic often with a more student led approach but with high skills



Nutrition and nutritional needs and health


Factors affecting food choice

British and international cuisines

A range of skill based practicals that link to the topic

Science experiments

Cooking of food and heat transfer (chapter 3)


sensory evaluation (chapter 9)


Revision and year 10 exams


Science experiments linked to conduction, radiation, convection

Also include microwaves and air frying

Last of the 12 practical skills to be learnt and developed



Mini NEA 2 practice

Chapter 7 -

Factors affecting food choice

Religions and food choices

Allergies and food choices

Practical; one relating to allergies, One relating to a particular culture / religion (ties into chapter 8)

Chapter 8 – British and other cultures food

Chapter 10 – Environmental impact and sustainability



Key Stage 4 Specification - Food, Preparation & Nutrition


Subject Leader:

Mrs Sutton


Exam Specification:

AQA GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition 8585

QN Code:


Summary of course content

This consists of 2 controlled assessment tasks which are internally assessed.  The first of which is a food investigation task worth 15% of the GCSE (30 marks).  The second is a food preparation task worth 35% of the GCSE (70 marks). The remaining 50% is examination based on food preparation and nutrition (100 marks). The exam is 1 hour 45 minutes and has a variety of different question styles to test all of the topics learnt throughout the course.

Controlled Assessment - All assessment / and examination is completed in year 11

1 hour 45 minutes examination on Food Preparation and nutrition (1 paper)

Food investigation: Task 1 worth 15% - a scientific research that includes a written or electronic report (1,500–2,000 words) including photographic evidence of the practical investigation.  This task is announced by the exam board on the 1st of September and is started at the beginning of year 11

Food Preparation:  Task 2 worth 35% written or electronic portfolio including photographic evidence of the three final dishes must be included.  The practical work is done in by creating 3 trial dishes before a 3 hour practical controlled examination.  This task is announced by the exam board on the 1st November and will start as soon as the scientific assessment has been completed.

What type of activities take place in lessons?

Demonstrations for practical work, food preparation techniques, scientific experiments on how food works, written work, nutritional data collection,  DVD clips, designing and investigating.  Work is done both individually but also in groups, particularly when carrying out experimental work.  Practical work has an emphasis on skills and so almost everything is prepared from scratch.  Pupils are taught these skills in lessons and use them to create their own products.

What type of homework tasks will be set?

Nutritional work and general theory work

Collecting of data, research,  Questionnaires/surveys

Star diagrams

Consumer and product testing

Collecting of ingredients

How will it help me in the future?

The food industry exists worldwide.  Used in catering, leisure and tourism, restaurants and within the sports and nutrition field.  Just about anywhere.   It is also a vital life skill which is essential for all.

How will this course build on what I have studied in Year 9?

Build on the foundations of KS3 and develop knowledge of food preparation and nutrition.  It will develop and extend practical work to enable pupils to have a greater understanding of where ingredients come from and why it is important to prepare healthy nutritious food.

What skills will I develop?

You will develop an understanding of food and food properties and develop practical skills and knowledge of the way food is produced including its impact on the environment.  You will understand why good nutrition is essential for the health of the nation.  The emphasis is on developing techniques and skills on food preparation and detailed knowledge of nutrition.