England’s national curriculum aims to ensure that pupils develop creative, technical and practical expertise to use in everyday life, as well as building up knowledge and understanding of skills in order to make food products for a variety of different diets and cultures. The subject also teaches pupils to be critical and to evaluate their ideas and products, as well as understanding the principles of nutrition and cooking.
Key Stage 2
In Food and Nutrition students will be introduced to the food room and will learn about basic food hygiene and safety. They will have the opportunity to make a range of simple products using a range of different skills and equipment. They will be able to test and evaluate what they have made and be able to suggest ways in which their products might be improved.
Key Stage 3
In Food and Nutrition students follow basic recipes with increasing independence, learn about a range of cooking processes such as selecting and preparing ingredients, using utensils and electrical equipment. They learn about the importance of healthy eating and the basic principles of nutrition. In preparation for moving on to Food and Nutrition at GCSE students start to learn more about the functions of ingredients in recipes.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4 students follow the AQA GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition scheme of work. To accommodate this students are allocated extra curriculum time. Class 4 have a double lesson to make a range of practical dishes every week. Class 5 have 2 double lessons and a single lesson. The doubles are for practical and the single is used to introduce more theory knowledge. In class 6 to allow for the Non Examined Assessment (NEA) element of the GCSE there is 1 double lesson and 3 singles.
In class 4&5 a wide range of skills are taught to cover all basic food preparation skills needed for the GCSE in the double lessons. This will allow students to be able to confidently and independently to produce a wide range of dishes both sweet and savoury. The single lessons allow the students to consolidate their learning from the making tasks and improve their knowledge and understanding of how food works. In class 5 the students also complete a Level 2 basic food hygiene course which is a standalone qualification but compliments the GCSE work.
In class 6 the students spend the Autumn term and the first half of the spring term working on the NEA 1 investigation task and the NEA 2 food task. In the following March the final dishes for this are completed and assessed. The remaining time is spent preparing for the written exam in the summer which carries the remaining 50% of the exam mark.