Food Preparation and Nutrition
Public Health England have published a new strategy to cut childhood and adult obesity which includes a challenge to the food industry to reduce calories in popular products by 20 per cent by 2024. As a school we look to reinforce the messages about making the right choices that lead to better health and wellbeing.
We aim for all of our students to become competent in a range of cooking techniques, to be able to use a range of electrical equipment, to be aware of taste and texture of how to combine and adapt ingredients and recipes when required, to be able apply the principles of nutrition and to understand the source and seasonality of food.
Year 7 and 9
Students are taught how to cook and apply basic principles of nutrition and healthy eating to a number of different dishes. Dishes are chosen to build on skills and confidence allowing expression, instilling a love of cooking and a recognition of it as a crucial life skill; they learn to cook a repertoire of predominantly savoury dishes so that they can feed themselves and others a healthy and varied diet, understanding where our food comes from - ('source') and when it is available - (‘seasonality’).
Year 10 and 11
The OCR Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE course focuses on Food and Nutrition and makes the connection between theory and practice.
The GCSE course investigates nutrition, diet and health throughout life and understanding nutritional needs when selecting recipes. Students learn about factors affecting consumer choice; food provenance, source and supply, food science, sensory properties and food safety. A variety of practical skills are developed whilst investigating the science behind cooking and understanding how to judge and manipulate sensory properties. We have chef demonstrations and aim to visit restaurants that cook from scratch, using seasonal foods.
The course is made up of 3 units:
Task 1: The Food Investigation task is worth 15% of the course and students will be required to research and investigate the chemical and functional properties of food; a task is released early September.
Task 2: The Food Preparation task is worth 35% of the course and students will be required to research and investigate the influence of lifestyle, age and culinary traditions when developing a menu and completing dishes for the task. Approximately 20 hours of work is utilised with 3 hours to prepare, cook and serve a 3 course meal; a task is released early November.
Task 3: A Written exam 1 and half hours in length assessing theoretical knowledge linked to main theoretical areas of the specification. This externally assessed exam is worth 50% of the course.
Year 7 and 9
Food and Nutrition has a positive influence on year 7 and 9 students, they are engaged and are able to identify what a healthy balanced diet is and be able to link this to the Eatwell guide model.
Students show a genuine interest in cooking and make excellent progress during their time. Skills improve and all students demonstrate an increase in food knowledge which helps them to make informed choices.
Year 10 and 11
Studying for the Food and Nutrition GCSE further develops skills; in following the course students can link specific diets to different groups of people, demonstrating their understanding of nutrient needs. Cooking skills are much more advanced and this has an impact on their practical exam, with past students achieving highly overall.
The GCSE course links naturally into studying for future careers within the Hospitality and Catering Industry, including City and Guilds, NVQ qualifications, Foundations Degrees and Full Degrees in Hospitality Business Management and Culinary Arts.
Overall, the impact of learning to cook and understand nutrition is an important life skill; it helps build an appreciation of good quality food, develops fine motor skills, enables us to read and follow instructions, assists with basic maths, offers a creative outlet and can move us into a future career!