Food is a vital part of our daily lives and is essential for life. As our students become adults and have busy lives, it is easy to choose food which has been ready prepared. However, it is more nutritious and often cheaper to cook simple, delicious food.
Our students need to develop their knowledge and understanding of Nutrition, healthy eating, food preparation, hygiene, cooking techniques, and sensory characteristics.
Our lower school curriculum covers a broad range of topics that will set students up with a range of practical skills and a breadth of knowledge to enable them to become successful learners. We encourage the development of practical and research skills and resilience in a safe environment, allowing students to demonstrate commitment and act on feedback. We also encourage students not only to follow a recipe but also to substitute ingredients and cooking methods as appropriate, demonstrating an understanding of food choices e.g. veganism, allergies and healthy eating as well as likes and dislikes and cultural/religious considerations
At the same time, we want to help our students become discriminating consumers of food products, enabling them to participate in society in an active and informed manner, to this end we encourage students to understand the environmental factors which affect the inequalities in food distribution on a global scale and give them an understanding of the need to minimise ‘food waste’ starting with their own practise.
The national curriculum for Design Technology Key stage 3 aims to ensure that all pupils:
understand and apply the principles of nutrition and health
cook a repertoire of predominantly savoury dishes so that they are able to feed themselves and others a healthy and varied diet
become competent in a range of cooking techniques [for example, selecting and preparing ingredients; using utensils and electrical equipment; applying heat in different ways; using awareness of taste, texture and smell to decide how to season dishes and combine ingredients; adapting and using their own recipes]
understand the source, seasonality and characteristics of a broad range of ingredients
In year 7 students learn the importance of a healthy balanced diet through the Eat Well Guide and dietary recommendations such as 5 a day and 8 tips for good health. They also look at the main nutrients that a healthy diet provides and the importance of these in the diet. They also study elements of packaging and labelling to ensure that they, as consumers, can make informed decisions. Students consider the different food eaten in different areas of the country and are encouraged to consider the reasons for this and why things may now have changed.
The food produced is predominantly savoury to support the healthy eating guidelines we teach. There is a clear progression of skills building on skills an element at time with increasing difficulty and complexity, allowing skills to be practiced and revisited. They will be able to follow simple recipes independently, with support for more complex recipes. They able to prepare a range of ingredient including meat, flour & vegetables to make a range of food products using basic cooking methods including peeling, chopping, boiling using a range of kitchen equipment with minimal assistance including electric whisks and sharp knives. They will be able to adapt recipes to meet specific needs that they may have.
In year 8 students develop their practical skills using a range of ingredients and basic methods to produce savoury main meals. Some sweet snacks are made to illustrate the effect of ingredients especially when they are combined. The role of food hygiene and safety in keeping us safe and the impact of poor hygiene is explored. The decision making of consumers started in year 7 continues with encouraging students to consider the role that the internet and social media plays on the food we choose. The food of other cultures and countries is explored as well so that students have an awareness, understanding and tolerance of this.
In year 9 Students will learn more about the provenance of their food and think about the way that grown, reared and caught food is produced, considering the environmental and ethical impact of this. The value of sustainable and seasonal foods whilst understanding the importance of farm to fork will be key. Students will continue to carry out a range of practical activities which will enable to them to read and follow a recipe and develop a range of practical skills including the demonstration of hygiene and safety. The dishes they cook will be increasingly complex and will encourage the use of a range of finishing and presentation skills. There is also an opportunity to research, plan and make a dish based on a theme of street food, allowing students to develop their creativity, planning and independence in practical work. This short task will give the students an insight into the demands of the GCSE curriculum in preparation for their transition to that.
Our hope is that through Food and nutrition, students are provided with a context through which to explore the richness, pleasure and variety that food adds to life.
Subject: Lower School Food
Number of Lessons: 2 Hour lessons for 12 weeks (repeated) in Year 7 – 9
Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE – Upper School
Year 10 and 11
The upper school cohort follows the Eduqas GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition. This covers 6 areas of learning
Diet and Good Health
Principles of Nutrition
Science of Food
Cooking and Food Preparation
The year 10 cohort of 2021-22 have had a foundation year in year 9 Food preparation and nutrition where they have studied healthy eating, energy needs, nutrition, food safety and hygiene, food provenance and environmental and social issues related to food. They have also developed their practical skills making dishes using a range of ingredients and techniques focusing on key basic cake, pastry and bread recipes as well as main meals using a range of main ingredients. In year 10 this basic knowledge will be consolidated through a thematic approach focusing on the main food commodity group. As each commodity is studied in detail its nutritional value, provenance, storage and cooking will be studied, this will require students to recall information form year 9 and consolidate their knowledge and understanding. This will support our students to know more and remember more. Before this is covered in Year 10 students will cover a unit of work based on reasons for food choice which will focus on the factors dietary and non-dietary that affect the food that people choose to eat such as religion, ethical beliefs, financial, illness and time of life. Throughout the work on food commodities a range of practical work will be completed with the focus on how to use each commodity safely and with skill to produce a range of food products. There will be a focus on skill level and presentation with dished to help students develop the skills that will be necessary for the NEA2 element of the GCSE assessment. Experimental work to illustrate how certain commodities behave when they are used is also completed throughout year 10 to prepare students for the NEA 1 element of the GCSE assessment. Assessments will take place at points matched to the school assessment calendar to allow realistic assessment of their progress at the correct time, these assessments will be based on work covered so far and in the main be based on the exam board material and parts of past papers.
Due to the timing of COVID related absences from school the year 11 cohort of 2021-22 will start the year completing the food commodities element of the GCSE course as this was not able to be completed in 2020-21. This will continue as the format in year 10 with the commodities of cereals, fats and sugars being covered. As is the case in year 10 assessments will take place in line with the school calendar and based on exam board material. Once the food commodities section of the syllabus is complete the students will be prepared for the NEA 2 assessment (which will form 50% of the final grade. Students will complete short focussed tasks based on the various elements of the NEA, so a research task will be completed, a time plan for a dish will be done and an evaluation of something they have made completed. They will also complete focused practical tasks – the format of these will be decided once the NEA task is released so that the most appropriate skills can be revisited and developed. When students complete the actual NEA 2 a revision task will be set each week to ensure that the students embed their knowledge and understanding to help them know more and remember more. It is anticipated that the NEA will be completed before the Easter break allowing the whole last term to be focused on revision and exam preparation.