Food Preparation and Nutrition

Food Preparation and Nutrition

What we are trying to achieve with our curriculum

Food and Nutrition in our school is vital to equip our students with the knowledge, understanding and skills required to cook and apply the principles of food science, nutrition and healthy eating. Our curriculum will encourage students to cook and enable them to make informed decisions about a wide range of further learning opportunities and career pathways as well as develop vital life skills that enable them to feed themselves and others affordably and nutritiously, now and later in life.


The National Curriculum is covered within our Food Preparation and Nutrition curriculum.



How we deliver our curriculum


At KS3 students study Food once a fortnight. During Food lessons students will take a practical approach to learning, they will demonstrate effective and safe cooking skills by planning, preparing and cooking a wide variety of dishes.  Students will develop a better understanding of where food comes from and factors that affect food choice such as lifestyle, diet, cost, religion, culture, environmental factors and animal welfare. The curriculum also explores the Eatwell guide and what a balanced and healthy diet looks like. Students will learn a variety of practical skills which will be built on in preparation for the Food Preparation & Nutrition GCSE. These skills will provide them with the ability and confidence to cook food independently and adapt existing recipes to suit their own dietary preference. Students will also focus on the science element of cooking, looking into how ingredients work. Students are required to analyse what happens during the preparation and cooking processes when ingredients are combined in different conditions.


How we deliver our curriculum


Students will have the option to continue their Food studies through the AQA Food Preparation & Nutrition GCSE.  During the GCSE students will build on their existing skills and gain a deeper understanding of:

Food, nutrition & health, Food science, Food Safety, Food choices and Food provenances. The course takes a linear approach meaning in year 11 students will be assessed through 50% NEA & 50% written exam.

NEA 1 – Food science investigation 15% of GCSE

NEA 2 – Food Preparation task 35% of GCSE

Written exam paper 50% of GCSE

KS3 & KS4Students receive feedback regularly both verbal and written in line with the school SPADE policy. Assessments in Food are both practical as well as written to give students the opportunity to demonstrate both their practical ability as well as their understanding of the theory topics which underpin the subject curriculum.

Clear cross curricular links include:

Maths – weighing/measuring/adapting recipes

Geography – Food province/ GM foods / Factors affecting food choice

Science – How ingredients work / Health & Nutrition / effects of cooking processes.


The difference that our curriculum makes to our pupils

Pupils are eager and excited during their Food lessons where they can confidently demonstrate skills and techniques to a good standard. Students will have learnt the skills and knowledge to make and implement healthy food choices throughout life. However, as one of the biggest industries with a vast variety of job sectors, students have many opportunities and career pathways to further their interest in Food, nutrition and cooking.


Food Preparation and Nutrition
KS3In year 7 and 8 Food and DT rotate within the year.

The pupils have 3 lessons in the two week time table.

Within Food pupils explore both practical skills, as well as the theory of food science and nutrition.


Year 7 & 8 Project outline:

Food safety

Practical skills

Fish preparation

Meat and Poultry preparation

Food science – fermentation / emulsification

Bread & pasta dough making

Food, nutrition & health – macronutrients / micronutrients

Heat transfer methods

Presentation skills



Term 1 and 2 we focus on further developing the practical skills required, as well as carrying out small practical investigation tasks exploring the food science element of the GCSE. This encourages students to work independently and with confidence.

In term 3 we introduce the GCSE course.


KS4At KS4 we follow AQA Food Preparation and Nutrition. This GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition is an exciting and creative course which focuses on practical cooking skills to ensure students develop a thorough understanding of nutrition, food provenance and the working characteristics of food materials. At its heart, this qualification focuses on nurturing students’ practical cookery skills to give them a strong understanding of nutrition.

The course runs for 5 hours over the two week timetable.


Food preparation skills are integrated into five core topics:

1.   Food, nutrition and health

2.   Food science

3.   Food safety

4.   Food choice

5.   Food provenance


How is it assessed?

50% written exam 1 hour 45 minutes (100 marks)

15% NEA 1 – Food Investigation Task 10 hours (30 marks)

35% NEA 2 – Food Preparation Task 20 hours (70 marks)


What’s assessed?

Written exam:

Theoretical knowledge of food preparation and nutrition from Sections 1 to 5.


NEA Task 1: Food investigation

Students’ understanding of the working characteristics, functional and chemical properties of ingredients. Practical investigations are a compulsory element of this NEA task.

Written or electronic report (1,500–2,000 words) including photographic evidence of the practical investigation.

NEA Task 2: Food preparation assessment

Students’ knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to the planning, preparation, cooking, presentation of food and application of nutrition related to the chosen task. Students will prepare, cook and present a final menu of three dishes within a single period of no more than three hours, planning in advance how this will be achieved.

Written or electronic portfolio including photographic evidence. Photographic evidence of the three final dishes must be included.


GeneralWe offer many extra-curricular groups in food including lunch and afterschool cooking clubs for both KS3 & KS4.


We have been involved in many food events both in school and out such as last year’s trip to Normandy, France, Chef visits and demonstrations, cooking with pheasants and competitions including both ‘Future Chef’ and ‘Young Chef’.

DID YOU KNOW? St Thomas à Becket celebrates their highest ever GCSE progress score! Click here to find out more