Food Technology

Technology is comprised of three subject areas:

  • Product design
  • Textile technology
  • Food and nutrition


State-of-the-art facilities for the teaching of food, including two superbly equipped food rooms, with extensive equipment and resources are available to pupils from first year to sixth form.

Food technology in the lower school

First year

Pupils develop a basic understanding of the nutritional requirements of a healthy diet through mainly practical sessions. Pupils learn basic food preparation techniques with particular focus on fruit and vegetables. The pupils are given information about sensible choices of school lunches.

Pupils complete the Chef One Star Award through a scone design activity.

Second year

Pupils work on a range of tasks including convenience food products and the study of various types of staple foods eg pasta, rice, potatoes, noodles and different types of bread. This is supported by instruction on a range of more advanced food preparation and cooking techniques.

Pupils complete the Chef Two Star Award through a pasta and sauce design activity.

At the end of second year pupils opt for two out of five creative subjects and then undertake the subject for three hours every two weeks for the whole of the third year.

Third year

Pupils extend their first and second year work on the importance of proper nutrition in leading a healthy lifestyle. They also look at prevention of food poisoning by learning about the correct storage and preparation of food.

Pupils develop their practical skills further, by using a wide range of electrical equipment, from microwaves to food processors. They also develop their skills, eg sauce making and pastry making, which prepares them for further study at GCSE level.

They complete the Chef Three Star Award through a food-based design and research activity linked to a specific country or culture.

Subject time per 10-day cycle

First year – one lesson with half an hour of homework per week for approximately 10 lessons
Second year – one lesson with half an hour of homework per week for approximately 20 lessons
Third year – three lessons in a two week cycle with half an hour of homework for the whole year
GCSE – five lessons plus homework

Food Technology further up the school


At GCSE in the fourth year pupils follow the new OCR food preparation and nutrition specifications. It is assessed by two pieces of coursework (15% and 35%) and one written paper (50%).

At GCSE in the fifth year the AQA Food and Nutrition course is designed to investigate the relationship between nutrition, diet, food choice and health.

It develops pupils’ ability to make informed choices regarding healthy diet and the effect of availability of food products. It also provides them with the skills of an informed consumer when choosing goods and services.

The course is assessed by a 90-minute written paper (40%) and two pieces of controlled assessment (15% and 45%) which involve investigating/researching a topic set by the exam board and then carrying out practical work to support this.

Enrichment Programme

Upper sixth pupils complete a 10 week student survival course in the department. This aims to inform them how to shop and cook on a budget. This teaches them basic practical skills and includes a one hour first aid session on the recovery position and CPR.


Trips to a chocolate workshop and GCSE trips to the BBC Good Food Show are organised.

Co-curricular activities


Our annual Masterchef competition, open to pupils in the lower school and middle school, is always a highlight of the food technology calendar.

Masterchef Finalists 2016

Masterchef Finalists 2016

The standard of cooking in the competition is always very high, with pupils having to progress through two rounds to reach the final where their creations are judged by a head chef from a top local restaurant, which in recent years have included Heathcotes and the Grill on the Edge.

And as well as the trophy and a voucher for the judge’s restaurant, our winners often find that their dish is on the chef’s daily specials board on the day they claim their prize!

Creative cuisine club

The department’s creative cuisine club is open to any first year pupil who would like to create some interesting sweet and savoury dishes.

The club runs every week on a blue Tuesday after school and a yellow Wednesday after school

The club is very popular and operates on a first come, first served basis. Pupils should sign up for each session on the list which is put up outside T5 every week.

Cake decorating and Christmas cake club

As well as creative cuisine club, the department also run a cake decorating club for second to fifth year pupils and, in the autumn term, a Christmas cake club for first years.