Learn More About
Food Technology

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 Curriculum intent of the Food Department is outlined as below. These are the principles that shape our intent, implementation and intended impact of our subject area on the wider Curriculum experienced by Rudheath Senior Academy pupils. We believe that every pupil, regardless of ability or approach to learning, has the right to expect the same consistently high-quality education in every lesson, taught by every teacher across our curriculum team.

Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Along with the national curriculum for design and technology we aim to ensure that all pupils: understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.

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.

Curriculum design

Key Stage 3

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.

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. Cross curriculum includes Maths – weighing and measuring, English- reading recipes and instructions; science – how ingredients work together, food safety, Social and cultural influences and international food traditions and cultures.

Key Stage 4

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)
    • Knowledge drills are used at the start and during lessons. This is done in the form of quick questions with instant responses using green pen. Self-marking of knowledge drills allows instant feedback and often leads to discussion. Knowledge drills are also used to collaborate information such as key vocabulary and definitions. For example a short wordsearch or crossword. Using blank wordsearches to identify key vocabulary has been used this encourages pupils to look back at previous work and recap.
    • Where possible modelling is used to demonstrate skills and presentation. This is mainly teacher led but pupils are also identified to lead on demonstrating or showing skills such as presentation.
    • Using a visualiser to demonstrate both practical and theory has become a integral part of implementation. Being able to work through a chemical structure for example: protein denaturization has made learning a more structured process. Teaching online has also benefited from the use of a visualizer as detailed images can be seen on a large screen which can open discussion.
    • Pupils are encouraged to look beyond their normal and look at being diverse. Part of implementing practical work is to research other nationalities and look at culture and historical influences on food.
    • 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.
    • Reference to healthy eating and nutritional content develops through Year 7 to Year 11.

    How is greater depth achieved?

    Visit and talks from local higher education establishments in KS4 allow pupils to see what routes are available in the food industry. Year 9 and Year 10 have the opportunity to enter competitions that are offered by outside organisations. This links to (Gatsby Benchmark 7) Year 7 study food through project-based learning and practical is not a focal part of this structure. This is offered as an after school extra curriculum activity.

    How are you teaching literacy through your subject?

    All pupils follow the literacy policy that is attached to books, this is generic throughout the school. SMID data provides all the information needed to track and find information when planning lessons.

    Oracy – Pupils are encouraged to discuss and share ideas and outcomes. The lessons run on a non-hands up policy where all pupils are expected to answer a question or give feedback. Questions are levelled at ability but used to stretch thinking. Pupils are not set up to always get the correct answer. This encourages pupils to think and readdress a response.

    Reading – KS3 and KS4 are required to read instructions. Time is allocated at the start of a practical lesson for instructions to be read and questions asked. Pupils are also encouraged to annotate information and as a stretch activity some pupils will be asked to identify equipment used in the practical.

    Writing – KS3 will evaluate verbally and in a written format. Theory books show evidence of written work. KS4 show in their books clear notes taken in lessons. These need to be concise as they will be used as a reference for revision. There are several pupils who use a laptop for taking notes and they use Teams as an online class notebook.

    Vocabulary is a strong focus and is used consistently in discussions and written work. This embeds knowledge and secures the use of food preparation and nutrition language used in exam papers.

    How do you ensure the needs are ALL learners are met?

    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 practicals 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

    Meeting learners needs and SEND provision

    All the approaches to teaching and learning described above are designed to support all learners in science. Fundamentally all our lesson are planned with the intention to teach to the top and scaffolding is used to support students in achieving mastery of each concept. All staff use intentionally designed seating plans to ensure they are aware of and can support all the needs of learners in their classroom. Individual Education Plans are used in every lesson to further support those pupils that require additional, individualised support to enable them to achieve their full potential.

    Assessment and feedback

    • 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.
    • Teacher marking will be in purple pen and feedback by pupils will be in green pen.
    • Knowledge drills will be used as starters and throughout lesson time to recap on knowledge during lessons and from past learning.


    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.

    What opportunities are offered to enrich the cultural capital of ALL learners?

    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.

    How do you ensure the transition to KS4 is successful is a progressive model over 5 years?

    Food preparation and Nutrition is a popular GCSE with a differentiated cohort. From year 7 we allow students to be independent, but have the ability to support pupils who need that little extra in gaining more confidence. We promote independence and encourage individuals to develop and adapt practical work. Even if this involves mistakes.

    Throughout KS3 we develop and extend learning. For example, in Year 7 we look at the eatwell guide and healthy eating. Pupils then extend this knowledge in Year8 with more detailed knowledge of nutrients and the functions they have in the body. Year 9 looks in more detail at vitamins and minerals. This blends into the GSCE curriculum where all the knowledge gained is used to understand the different life stages, their needs and how planning a healthy diet relates to individual needs.

    Gatsby Benchmarks

    7 – All Year 10 and 11 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.

    What does the subject offer for blended learning?

    The use of the visualiser has allowed so many opportunities for blended learning to take place. During lockdown this was an invaluable piece of equipment and allowed the food room to be used into pupils’ houses. Close up demonstrations of practical’s and the scope it gave to show in detail the functional and chemical properties of ingredients was incredible. KS3 watched how bread was made while following along at home. Screen sharing allowed feedback from the teacher instantly and outcomes were shared on Teams or in class notebook. KS4 produced gluten structure again while watching a demonstration and the visualizer being used to give very close up detailed examples.

    This way of teaching has continued in the classroom and opportunities are still being explored. The use of an iPad is a new concept and this will be a strong focus for the new academic year ahead.

    How do you ensure staff development in your curriculum area?

    We have close links with two other schools in the local area. These links are used to help moderate NEA work as well as discussing any changes and sharing ideas. CPD looks at literacy and numeracy as a whole school focus which encourages mapping to be revisited to make changes and adapt to new ideas.

    The Food Teacher Center is a Facebook group which offers support and advice to teachers of food. This is a way to share ideas and communicate with other teachers who teach in a department of one. They offer face to face meetings at a small cost. These run throughout the year and are held all around the country.

The Impact of the Food Technology curriculum is measured through data produced at each key assessment stage and through external assessments. The quality of work produced is of a consistently high standard and quality and in the top quintile for all schools. All learners are equipped with the knowledge and skills for their next stage in education and are informed of prospective careers that could be ventured upon later in life.

Food is a basic need for all and throughout the food course we are developing knowledge and behaviour towards food, constantly enhancing skills in the preparation and cooking of a range of ingredients. There are many opportunities to develop a pupils’ cultural capital in food lessons. These include working safely with food and equipment, food sustainability, food miles, seasonal foods, specific dietary needs, eating a balanced diet factors affecting our food choices and pupils also take part in a number of sensory analysis activities. We look to broaden horizons so pupils can see how food can be an exciting part of everyone’s life. As part of the food curriculum pupils are encourages to take part in opportunities out of school. Year 9 have been strong competitors in the Rotary Chef competition which see us compete against other schools in the area and Year 10 compete in a Young Chef competition held at Warrington Vale Royal College.

We use a hands-on practical approach to learn in a safe, fun environment, encouraging an enjoyment of being in the kitchen. Pupils have little opportunity to experience Design and Technology at KS2 so from Year 8 we aim to instill a love of food, developing competent pupils in a kitchen environment. We teach a range of cooking skills and allow pupils to use and understand their senses to analyse different foods.

Quality assurance

How will you know your intent is being achieved?

  • Regular meetings with HOF and the Science department team allows for feedback and time to reflect on the intent. Questions can be asked and answered and new strategies can be implemented to maintain the outcomes set out.
  • Quality assurance will be seen in learning walks, book scrutiny and discussions with pupils about their personal aims and targets.
  • Periodically include student voice through discussion with a range of selected pupils to ensure that their feedback and any concerns are taken into account when developing the curriculum and programme of Food related experiences.