Why is Food Preparation Important?

The preparation of food is one of the great expressions of human creativity which is central to all of the world's rich and diverse cultures. Learning to cook is a crucial life skill that enables students to lead a healthy lifestyle now and in later life. It gives students valuable insight into the Science of nutrition and hygiene. Most importantly Food Preparation enables students to be adaptive and creative in their quest to be the next Master Chefs!.

 What is the aim of the Food curriculum at Oaklands?

The Food Preparation curriculum at Oaklands aims to develop healthy individuals who are able to solve problems and work practically. Students will be taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. It enables students to understand the ethics around sustainability in global food production and thereby make a positive contribution to the community. It also develops critical thinking skills through investigation and evaluative work.

How is the curriculum in Food structured?

Food Preparation is taught mostly thorough practical lessons where students will learn a range of preparation and cooking techniques. Theory is linked and taught alongside these practical lessons. Skills and knowledge are built on and developed throughout each key stage.

Topics covered in Year 7

  • Nutrition and Healthy eating
  • Eatwell Guide
  • Principles of Food Hygiene and safety
  • Prepare and cook a variety of dishes related to each group of the eatwell guide: Introduction to food science
  • Sensory Analysis

Topics covered in Year 8

  • Balanced diet and energy balance
  • Food science: gelatinisation, raising agents, heat transfer methods
  • Prepare and cook a variety of dishes ‘Food suitable for school lunch’
  • Nutritional analysis (1)
  • Sensory Analysis and evaluation

Topics covered in Year 9

  • Food science: Fats in pastry, gluten in flour
  • Prepare and cook a variety of dishes from each of the following commodity groups:

1. Fruits and vegetables

2.Starchy carbohydrates

3. Meat fish and eggs

4. Milk and dairy

  • Nutritional analysis (2)
  • Mini research, plan and make task

Topics covered in Year 10

  • Preparation and Cooking:

- demonstrate effective and safe cooking skills by planning, preparing and cooking a variety of food commodities whilst using different cooking techniques and equipment

- demonstrate knowledge and understanding of functional and nutritional properties, sensory qualities and microbiological food safety considerations when preparing, processing, storing, cooking and serving food

- understand and explore a range of ingredients and processes from different culinary traditions (traditional British and international) to inspire new ideas or modify existing recipes.

  • Food Science:

develop knowledge and understanding of the functional properties and chemical characteristics of food as well as a sound knowledge of the nutritional content of food and drinks

  • Nutrition:

- understand the relationship between diet, nutrition and health, including the physiological and psychological effects of poor diet and health

- understand the economic, environmental, ethical and socio-cultural influences on food availability, production processes, diet and health choices

Topics covered in Year 11

  • Higher level cooking skills and presentation techniques
  • Students complete 2 NEAs (non examined assessments)
  • NEA1 The Food Investigation task - a science based investigation supported by written assignment.
  • NEA2 Food Preparation task - independent research plan and make where a portfolio of work is completed along with a 3 hr practical exam - working to a brief.
  • Consolidation of learning and exam practice

KS4 Qualification title

  • GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition (Eduqas)

Practical tips / activities for parents to support learning at home

  • Participation in preparation and cooking at home
  • Discussion around food choices being made, tastes, likes and dislikes.
  • Watching food programs on TV such as: Food Unwrapped, Tomorrow's Food