Food Technology

Students study Food Technology from Year 5 to Year 9 at Rookwood. We aim to develop their knowledge, skills and confidence to meet the needs and requirements which food presents in everyday situations. We encourage healthy eating through research, discussion, practical application and recipe modification. Students are actively involved in developing basic practical techniques, along with critical, evaluative and analytical skills relevant to Food.

The new GCSE in Food Preparation and Nutrition (which replaced Home Economics, Food Technology and Catering in 2016), enables pupils to understand the physical, chemical, nutritional, biological and sensory properties of different foods. The curriculum empowers students to make educated choices about the foods they consume and to develop as informed citizens. The subject is taught in a well-equipped room where pupils are given individual ownership of their work area.


Curriculum at Key Stage 3

In Year 7, we investigate the importance of safe food handling and the uses of different parts of the cooker, as well as the use of small equipment. Pupils also develop skills to accurately measure a range of Foods and study the importance of using the Eatwell Guide to live a healthy life. In addition, we visit Rookwood’s garden where students learn about horticulture and how fruit and vegetables are grown by our resident gardener who also runs our ‘Growers Club’.

The main aim of this unit is to introduce pupils to Food and establish an interest and enthusiasm for the subject.  Pupils will carry out a variety of practical activities and use ingredients appropriately to meet a specific purpose, taking into account seasonality. Students develop confidence in the use of tools, equipment and skills specific to the subject.

In Year 8, lessons focus around making a range of multi-cultural dishes using staple foods. Students will develop an awareness of how globalisation has affected our eating habits and continue to expand their knowledge of nutrition and the concept of a healthy diet. They also develop their understanding of food safety. A wide range of practical dishes will be produced, which will increase their understanding of the functional properties of Food and pupils will consider the importance of carbohydrates and vitamins in the diet.

By Year 9, students are familiar with the equipment, are able to manage their time efficiently and are confident in practical lessons. The focus is aimed towards making recipes for independent living and students are encouraged to consider how dishes could be adapted or extended to create a slightly different end dish, whilst still using the main ingredients. This could be as simple as taking away one ingredient and replacing it with another or it can be more complicated, involving for example ‘food fusion’. Many of the recipes that we use in Year 9 have an international theme. We continue investigating nutrition and reinforce the need to eat a healthy, balanced diet, referring back to the Eatwell Guide.

Throughout the course of their Food lessons, students develop skills such as co-operation, individual responsibility and ownership. Pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding is nurtured through observation, product evaluation, experimental work, discussion, focused practical tasks and written activities.

Work is assessed in various ways, including classwork and homework tasks. Students are expected to provide the ingredients for every session of Food preparation and they may take their work away afterwards. Boarders have the ingredients supplied by the school and can take their work back to the House to share at the end of the day.


Curriculum at Key Stage 4 

AQA Food Preparation and Nutrition Specification Code 8585

This new GCSE in Food Preparation and Nutrition is an exciting and creative course, which focuses on practical cooking skills to ensure pupils develop a thorough understanding of nutrition, food provenance and the working characteristics of food materials.  At its heart, this qualification focuses on nurturing practical cookery skills to provide a strong understanding of nutrition.

Food preparation skills are integrated into five core topics:-

  • Food, nutrition and health
  • Food science
  • Food safety
  • Food choice
  • Food provenance

The GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition specification sets out the knowledge, understanding and skills required to cook and apply the principles of food science, nutrition and healthy eating.  The majority of the specification will be delivered through preparation and making activities.  Pupils will be able to make the connections between theory and practice by applying their understanding of food and nutrition to practical preparation.

As well as developing practical skills, candidates will study and develop competencies in comprehension, analysis and interpretation of information.  They will be provided with opportunities to investigate, organise, communicate and evaluate, using appropriate problem solving and decision making skills.  The programme is conducted in the context of an urban, multicultural, industrial society and draws upon concepts from both physical and social science.

Assessment: there is one tier of assessment which covers all of the grades 9 -1.  Assessment is made up of two parts both of which will be carried out in Year 11.  A written examination Food Preparation and Nutrition is worth 50% of the GCSE marks and a Non-examination assessment (NEA) produces the final 50% of the marks.