Download our FREE smartphone app today!
Food Preparation & Nutrition
At Harris Academy Rainham, cooking and nutrition lessons have been designed to provide students with the knowledge, understanding, and skills to enable them to make decisions about their food choices as informed consumers.
Food is an essential element for the survival of human beings. According to Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, food is one of our basic physiological needs. For further details about Food, Preparation & Nutrition at Harris Academy Rainham contact Mrs L Linton-Hemmings, Head of Food Studies and Textiles L.Linton-Hemmings@harrisrainham.org.uk
Year 7, 8 & 9
Students in Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9) learn to understand their basic daily needs for nutritional wellbeing. Students are offered exciting and interesting experiences that focus on learning to produce nutritious and healthy meals based on the national healthy eating guidelines and the Eatwell Guide.
Through a range of practical and written activities, students learn the basic knowledge and skills needed to engage in making their own nutritious and healthy meals. Students are expected to gain useful life skills and cooking techniques, which will enable them to prepare nutritious meals at home for their families.
In Key Stage 3, pupils cook predominantly savoury dishes but are offered opportunities to make some sweet dishes too. There is a focus on world cuisine and food provenance which builds on the work done in primary school. This introduces the students to more challenging food preparation skills and enhances their creativity and ability to carry out research on different ingredients and cultures. Students develop the confidence to evaluate and test ideas and products, and to adapt the products for different users or target groups.
The topics studied at Key Stage 3 will enable pupils to develop a basic understanding of the following.
- Food preparation and cooking skills including: knife skills and using basic equipment such as a grater, peeler, kettle, can opener, sieve and whisk; control of the oven, hob and grill; and refrigeration.
- How to work safely and hygienically in the kitchen.
- Food hygiene including how to wash up, dry and store equipment and ingredients.
- Key nutritional principles, including the Eatwell Guide, the importance of macronutrients (protein, fats, carbohydrates), micronutrients (vitamin and minerals), dietary fibre and water. Awareness of dietary needs taking into account the different stages of life, vegetarians, allergies and religious considerations for example, and how dishes and meals can be planned to meet the needs of specific dietary groups.
- Ingredient functions and food science, such as gelatinisation, aeration, foaming and coagulation.
- Familiarity with the basic principles of how to conduct a food science investigation.
- Knowledge and understanding of ingredients, source, seasonality, and food provenance.
- Increased awareness of social, moral, cultural, religious and environmental issues.
- An ability to adapt and follow recipes using suitable ingredients and tools to prepare and cook a range of dishes.
- Sensory testing and evaluation.
- Time management skills, including basic dovetailing when conducting practical tasks.
Course outline and structure
In Key Stage 3 pupils experience a rotational timetable of the different Design and Technology subjects. Each rotation lasts approximately 12 weeks allowing pupils to develop their skills in three different subject areas.
Students have their work assessed weekly through practical and theory work thereby allowing a lot of opportunity for feedback. Students’ progress is measured using a baseline test at the start of the academic year. End of unit assessment is planned during each rotation to establish how much pupils have learned. Students are also set regular knowledge tests via Show My Homework, an online platform that is used to set regular homework tasks, and short quizzes in lessons.
Year 10 & 11
Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE is robust and rigorous, challenging and ambitious. It draws on the best aspects of the current food qualifications but puts practical cooking skills at its heart. Students are required to demonstrate more scientific knowledge which underpins the preparation and cooking of food.
- Food, Nutrition, and Health
- Food Science
- Food Safety
- Food Choice
- Food Provenance
The GCSE grade awarded will be on the new structure of 1 to 9, with nine being the highest. This qualification is linear, meaning students sit all their exams at the end of the course.
- 50% examination. One question paper split into two sections: Theoretical knowledge of the specific subject content. Section A: Multiple choice questions structured to reflect the sections of the specification (20 marks). Section B: contains five questions varying in styles of approach and content (80 marks). 1 hour 45 minutes exam.
- 50% non-examination assessment (NEA). NEA consists of one food investigation (a 1,500 to 2,000-word report) and one food preparation assessment (plan, prepare, cook and present a three-course menu or three dishes).
- Food investigation (15%). Students write a report on their understanding of the scientific principles that underpin the preparation and cooking of food. Recommended time: 10 hours.
- Food preparation assessment (35%) Students will plan, prepare, cook and present a three-course menu within three hours. Recommended time: 20 hours. Students will produce a concise portfolio that: a) demonstrates their application of technical skills and their practical outcomes; and b) explains how they planned and carried out the preparation, cooking, and presentation of their three final dishes which includes an evaluation of cost, and the sensory properties and nutritional characteristics of each dish.
Upon completion of this course students will be qualified to: go on to further study at A-Level in Food Technology or Food, Nutrition & Health; study Technical Award qualifications related to food; apply for Modern Apprenticeships in hotels and catering in the food industry; or study food-related degrees at universities such as Reading or the Nestle Academy.
We currently offer regular after-school workshops or intervention sessions to support students. Presently, the intervention sessions are targeted at GCSE pupils who are completing their non-exam assessments.
- BBC Bitesize Food Tech
- AQA, WJEC, and OCR Food Technology Textbooks
- Illuminate online resource (login details and passwords given to students during lessons)
- Lonsdale Revision Guidebook for Food Preparation and Nutrition