Food Preparation and Nutrition
Technology is comprised of three subject areas:
- Product Design
- Textile Technology
- Food Preparation and Nutrition
Food preparation skills and healthy food choices are vital life skills in today’s society. We aim to provide a thorough grounding in both the theoretical and practical aspects of Food and Nutrition.
Areas studied include nutrition, the wise selection of foods in order to promote good health, food safety and hygiene. Our lessons are a mixture of theory and practical and combine demonstrations, making and tasting in order to develop pupils’ abilities in food preparation, general organisation and confidence. Pupils make a variety of dishes, ranging from the simple to the more complex, including homemade bread, pastry and pasta products, sauce making such as bechamel, ragu and hollandaise and a variety of baked sweet goods. All our recipes are available to download on the school website.
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 Preparation and Nutrition in the Lower School
Pupils develop a good understanding of the nutritional requirements of a healthy diet through a combination of theory and practical sessions.
The focus of this course is on fruit and vegetables. Pupils will learn how to incorporate these into exciting and nutritious dishes as well as learning about food provenance and seasonality. Dishes include tzatziki dip, stir fry, savoury rice, pasta salad, apple crumble and scones. Students will also get their first introduction in to food science – looking at how ingredients work together.
The course builds on First Year work by focusing on the importance of correct nutrition for a healthy diet through life.
Pupils learn about carbohydrate foods and learn how to make and cook with a range of staple foods including: bread, pasta, rice, and sauces. This work is supported by instruction on a range of more advanced food preparation techniques.
The course culminates in Second Years planning and making a pizza dough with toppings that demonstrate their understanding of the Eatwell Guide.
Pupils who opt for Food and Nutrition extend their skills and knowledge in preparation for further study at GCSE.
Food Preparation and Nutrition in Third Year aims to equip pupils with the knowledge, understanding and skills to be able to feed themselves and others better.
Pupils will develop advanced practical cookery skills and techniques as they explore the underlying principles of food science, nutrition, food traditions and food safety. This course aims to inspire pupils to be inquisitive, creative and confident cooks. Dishes include sweet and sour chicken, eggs benedict with a homemade hollandaise sauce and stuffed chicken using a portioned breast.
Subject time per 10-day cycle
First Year – three lessons in a two week cycle with half an hour of homework for approximately 16 lessons
Second Year – one lesson with half an hour of homework per week for approximately 12 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 Preparation and Nutrition further up the school
At GCSE in the Fourth and Fifth Year pupils follow the OCR Food preparation and nutrition specification. It is assessed by two pieces of non-examined assessment (15% and 35%) and one written paper (50%). All assessments take place in the Fifth Year.
The 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 focuses on developing high level practical skills which are then utilised when they carry out their two pieces of non-examined assessment.
The course is assessed by a 90-minute written paper (50%) and two pieces of non-examined assessment (15% and 35%).
Task One – Food Investigation task: involves carrying out work of an experimental nature which focuses on the properties of food e.g. investigate the best conditions for starches to thicken a sauce.
Task Two – Food Preparation task: involves research into a topic set by the exam board, followed by a three hour practical session to prepare, cook and serve your chosen dishes to demonstrate your cookery skills to illustrate your chosen task.
Upper Sixth students complete a 10 week student survival course in the department. This aims to inform them how to shop and cook for friends.
Fourth and Fifth Years visit Borough Market in London to investigate street food. We also invite a range of outside speakers such as butchers and fishmongers and members of the Vegetarian Society.
Our annual MasterChef competition, open to pupils in the Lower School and Middle School, is always a highlight of the Food Preparation and Nutrition calendar.
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 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.
Ready, Steady, Bake 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.