Food Preparation and Nutrition

Food is a vital part of our daily lives and is essential for life. As our pupils 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. 

 At The Rudheath Senior Academy, students will develop their knowledge and understanding of nutrition, healthy eating, food preparation, hygiene, cooking techniques, and sensory characteristics. This is done in a fun and hands on environment where levels of ability can develop and be stretched and challenged.  

The aim of our Food Preparation and Nutrition Department is to provide all pupils with the ability to cook a range of nutritious dishes from ingredients that are easily sourced and budget friendly. With a range of sweet and savoury dishes we hope that pupils build confidence in their cooking skills to take forward. Cooking is a life skill. From the outset the subject introduces nutrition and the understanding of how we use food in our bodies. We feel that the more pupils understand the damage a poor diet can do, the more likely they will make good food choices. Once established they will be healthy adults and impart their knowledge to family. Further academic studies include Food Provenance, dealing with seasonality, food miles and sustainability and Food Science. Through experimentation pupils learn what is happening to the ingredients they are preparing and can apply this knowledge to dishes of their own design. Food Preparation and Nutrition has strong cross curricular links to Science, Geography and PE and also complements the study of other GCSEs such as Literacy and Numeracy.  

 In KS3 we start simple and then, with each recipe build in a new skill, using a variety of utensils, electrical equipment, and ingredients to create a range of dishes. This ensures pupils develop a confidence in a kitchen environment. This is all underpinned with pupils learning about eating a balanced diet. Theory lessons teach pupils to analyse products and dishes; learn the principles of nutrition and health and understand the source and seasonality of a range of ingredients. Skills and knowledge are learnt and stimulated in KS3 and, if pupils want to pursue these further, they have the opportunity to study Food Preparation and Nutrition in KS4. 

Subject Content 


As part of their work with food, pupils should be taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. Instilling a love of cooking in pupils will also open a door to one of the great expressions of human creativity. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill that enables pupils to feed themselves and others affordably and well, now and in later life. 

 Pupils should be taught to: 

  • 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. 

 GCSE Content  

In KS4 the Food Preparation and Nutrition course enables pupils to develop the skills and knowledge gained at Key Stage 3 and develop an in depth understanding that will enable them to successfully continue onto a range of post 16 courses. In KS4 the course allows pupils to continue to develop their food preparation and cooking skills and build on their principles of nutrition and healthy eating. The course consists of theory and practical elements that link together.  

Aims and outcomes.  

  • Nutrition  
  • Food  
  • Cooking and food preparation  

NEA 1 (15%)  

  • Food Science investigation set by AQA Exam board   
  • Practical investigation in conjunction with a portfolio of written and photographic evidence  

 NEA 2 (35%)  

  • Food Preparation assessment set by AQA Exam board  
  • Plan, prepare, cook, and present a final menu of 3 dishes alongside a portfolio of written and photographic evidence  

 Examination (50%)   

  • A written paper  
  • Section A:  Multiple choice questions (20 marks)  
  • Section B:  Five questions, each with a number of sub questions (80 marks)  

All pupils will be provided with the best quality delivery and assessment at all times to encourage a love of food. Pupils will be fully engaged in challenging activities, in practical’s and theory lessons, that will ensure a good understanding of the skills and knowledge required to successfully achieve a GSCE in Food Preparation and Nutrition. Subject matter is sequenced to support pupils in retaining the content. In KS4 Non-Exam Assessment is delivered and pupils are encouraged to think complexly as they research and complete a range of assignments. This provides the opportunity for pupils to work independently on their Non-exam Assessment and achieve a great outcome.  

In practical work differentiation can be seen in outcome. This enables pupils to starch and challenge themselves. Some pupils love the challenge and will strive to produce practical work with higher skills each time and will question their ability. Some pupils will need to be lead and this is where we can often use the support of TA or technician. Modelling is used more in this situation and small group demonstrations to embed basic skills are used.    

We have a very inclusive subject and ingredients are provided when required so no pupils miss out on the opportunities available.  

 Within the Food Department we intend that our pupils will leave us in Year 11 possessing the following skills and attributes: 

  • Confidence in a kitchen environment 
  • Have a passion for food with an ability to prepare and cook a range of ingredients producing high skill dishes  
  • Safely use different equipment in the kitchen to produce great outcomes  
  •  Recognise how to provide nutritious dishes and what a balanced diet looks like  
  •  Able to prepare and cook food safely  
  •  Able to adapt recipes for different dietary needs

This involves a series of steps within each lesson that begins with activating prior knowledge and leading to independent practice before ending in structured reflection. These are based on Barak Rosenshine’s Principles of instruction.  

  • Teacher starts each lesson with a knowledge drill (review of relevant prior knowledge to activate schemata ready to build new knowledge into long term learning)   
  • Learning question   
  • Small amounts of new knowledge are presented at a time with the opportunity for students to then practice this new material   
  • Regular, extensive questioning of all students - cold calling 
  • Model answers and worked examples are regularly provided where appropriate   
  • Give students opportunities for extensive, successful, independent practice    
  • Use formative/summative assessment and feedback-next steps to secure students’ progress   
  • Reflection of learning question
  • Using a visualizer to demonstrate both practical and theory has become a integral part of implementation
  • All year groups are encouraged to take part in practical lessons where skills are the main focus. This enables development of skills through KS3 and KS4.  
  • Follow Behaviour for Learning protocols   
  • Use of knowledge organisers
  • Verbal feedback will be given during all lessons to encourage progress – where possible this will be in the form of questions to encourage pupil ownership of learning and progress. 
  • Verbal feedback will also use the format of ‘What Went Well’ and ‘Even Better If’ – to deliver praise and the expectation of improvement. 
  • Pupil books are used to consolidate learning and provide written feedback.  Feedback will be provided at regular intervals on the completion of classwork, summative and formative assessment. Pupils will also self-assess their own progress at intervals. 
  • Knowledge drills will be used as starters and throughout lesson time to recap on knowledge during lessons and from past learning.  
  • See above for assessment at GCSE.  

 NEA 1 (15%) -Food Science investigation set by AQA Exam board   

NEA 2 (35%)  -Food Preparation assessment set by AQA Exam board  

Examination (50%)  - A written paper  

Homework is set once a fortnight as every other week pupils will take part in a practical lesson. Part of home learning will be to identify or adapt recipes and ingredients and on some occasions weight out ingredients. Pupils are given a basic recipe but are encouraged to use home learning to research other options. The homework will also identify and use key vocabulary / information learnt to create a comprehension of understanding. This will combine key vocabulary (tier 2 and 3 words) and built in comprehension skills learnt to stretch knowledge and understanding of vocabulary and allow for higher level of learning to take place independently

Enrichment opportunities are embedded into the curriculum, offering learners a broader experience of Food Technology. There are secure links with local schools, partnership schools and the wider community. It is important for learners to experience Food/Master Chef competitions and work with external companies in order to widen their knowledge and skills. –  All Pupils have the opportunity to visit higher education colleges and we have the opportunity to take part in a competition run by one Warrington Vale Royal college. This allows pupils to experience college life and how an industrial kitchen would be run. We are also hoping to offer meaningful Food related trips for each year group especially /Food related experience days with leaders in their field coming to share their jobs and experiences with our pupils and external visitors/artists coming to add extra excitement and experience to our subject.