Year 7 Exploration

Healthy Eating

In Year 7, we aim to give students a foundational experience by using a range of different commodities and an understanding of the government recommendations for healthy eating through the ‘Eatwell Guide’. We want every child to know the Eatwell guide, food groups and key basic nutrients, healthy eating recommendations, tips for good health’, the nutritional content of food commodities, sensory vocabulary related to different foods, the 4c’s of good food hygiene and an understanding of the term ‘from farm to fork’.

The key vocabulary that they will be expected to learn is chilling, cooking, cleaning, cross contamination, ‘Eatwell Guide’, nutrients, carbohydrate, fat, protein, vitamins, minerals, recommendations, vocabulary, hygiene, safety, bacteria, commodities, risks, grilling, frying, boiling, guidelines, improvements and adaptions.

What will we be cooking?

During practical sessions students will be asked to design a bread based party snack, fruit smoothie, fruit crumble, pizza toast and chili con carne. Their skills will be tested at the end of the course as they make a curry independently. This will form the assessment grade for the Food coursework.

Year 8 Exploration

Understanding Commodities

In Year 8, students will further develop their food preparation skills as they embark on more demanding dishes, building on the skills learnt in Year 7. They will deepen their knowledge of key terms used to describe food production on a variety of scales. They will understand the difference between macro and micronutrients and the different factors that affect food choice. They will be expected to have a deeper knowledge of why ingredients behave the way they do and how cooking processes affect the final outcome of a dish.

By the end of the course students should be able to explain the function of macronutrients, the importance of seasonality and ways to be sustainable as an individual and a nation. They should understand that different people have different culinary needs and understand temperatures for storage and cooking.

What will we be cooking?

We will be creating a fruit fusion, baking bread and understanding the function of the ingredients, combining ingredients in a pizza scone and cooking savoury rice. The final dish will be a pasta dish (Bolognese or lasagne) which will form their assessment for Year 8. This will require a certain degree of self-organisation and application of previously learnt knowledge of health and safety, sensory judgement, temperature judgement and presentation.

Year 9 Excitement

In Year 9, students will have an increased number of lessons over the course of the year, allowing them to significantly deepen their knowledge of good practice. They will cover the topics of ‘Nutrients and the Eatwell Guide’, ‘Diet and Good Health’, ‘Science and Cooking Food’, ‘Food Provenance and Waste’, ‘Technological developments’ and finally ‘Factors affecting Food Choice’.

Topics 1: Nutrients and the Eatwell Guide

Students will learn about nutrients for good health, the function and sources of nutrients and deficiency and excess disorders. Every child will be asked to identify the function of a range of nutrients to include HBV / LBV proteins, saturated and unsaturated fats, simple and complex carbohydrates, water-soluble and fat soluble vitamins and a range of minerals. In practical lesson they will be expected to adapt and modify recipes to be suitable for a range of disorders, intolerances and allergies.

What will we be cooking?

We will be basing our dishes around the commodity of fruit and vegetables and making soup, spinach curry and trifle.

Topic 2: Diet and Good Health

During this topic students will study the energy requirements of individuals and how to plan balanced diets whilst calculating energy and nutritional value of recipes, meals and diets. Every student will be asked to know the recommended amount of energy that is provided by each of the main nutrient groups, percentage of nutrients we should consume each day for a balanced diet, the recommended guidelines for a healthy diet and how nutritional needs change due to their age, lifestyle choice and state of health.

What will we be cooking?

Our focus commodity for this term will be milk, cheese and yogurt and this will form the basis of our dishes of mango and coconut creamed rice, Welsh rarebit and making a roux sauce for pasta bake.

Topic 3: Science and Cooking Food

Students will look at the effect of cooking on a range of different foods (methods of heat transfer and cooking methods) and food spoilage. Every child will be asked to identify reasons why food is cooked and how heat is transferred, why micro-organisms such as bacteria are sometimes dangerous and sometimes helpful in the production of dishes, what the working characteristics, functional and chemical properties of ingredients are, reasons why dishes do not always work out correctly and the impact of food waste.

What will we be cooking?

We will be cooking dishes based on starchy carbohydrate ingredients. These will include bread, lasagne and mushroom risotto.

Topic 4: Food Provenance and Waste

Study of where food comes from, is grown and caught, the meaning of food miles and the impact of the carbon footprint, the value of packaging and the effect on the environment and the difference between local and global markets and communities.

What will we be cooking?

We will be basing our meals around protein dishes including meat, fish and eggs. Dishes will include a dish where a fish has been filleted, mackerel pate and Spanish tortilla.

Topic 5: Technological developments

Study of how food production technology has meant functional foods like probiotic yoghurts deliver additional or enhanced benefits over and above their basic nutritional value. We will look at how technological developments respond to population increase, transport, preservation methods, pasteurisation, pesticides, packaging and developments in foods for people with specific dietary needs.

What will we be cooking?

We will be focusing on the commodity of butter, oils, margarine, sugar and syrup and cooking rough puff pastry sausage rolls, pavlova and chocolate brownies.

Topic 6: Factors affecting Food Choice

Students consider the reasons people have different diets like vegetarianism, life stage, cultural preferences, health concerns, religious beliefs and kosher and halal foods.

What will we be cooking?

We will be focusing on preparing meals by looking at alternative ingredients like replacing meat in a burger by making a spicy bean burger and accompaniments, pumpkin seed flapjacks and bean casserole.

Year 10 (GCSE) Expertise

Year 10 allows students to build the technical knowledge that will be needed to complete the GCSE coursework and exam in Year 11. They will be covering six commodities (one in each half-term) and will apply the six topics from Year 9 (Nutrients and the Eatwell Guide, Diet and Good Health, Science and Cooking Food, Food Provenance and Waste, Technological developments and Factors affecting Food Choice) to each commodity. Underpinning all knowledge will be the nutritional value of all foods and students will demonstrate knowledge of this in practical tasks and the half-termly tests.

Topic 1:

Commodity: fruit and vegetables

  • Student will be taught to be able to identify the nutrients found in fruit and vegetables
  • Understand where fruit and vegetables come from, how they are grown
  • Able to identify the different categories and types of fruit and vegetables
  • Understand the advantages and disadvantages of organic products
  • Able to describe the primary and secondary processes fruit and vegetables go through
  • Able to identify different ways to preserve fruit and vegetables
  • Able to describe oxidisation and enzymic browning of fruit

What will we be cooking?

Fruit in syrup, fresh fruit tart and Chinese spring rolls with homemade phyllo pastry.

Topic 2:

Commodity: milk, cheese and yoghurt

  • To know the origins of a range of different milk and dairy products
  • To understand the primary and secondary processing
  • The nutritional content of a range of milk and dairy products
  • The chemical and physical structures
  • Understand the dietary considerations
  • To demonstrate the safe handling of high risk foods

What will we be cooking?

Panna cotta, cheese scones, cheese soufflé and a seasonal Christmas dish if time allows.

Topic 3:

Commodity: bread, cereals, flour, oats, rice, potatoes, pasta

  • Understand what cereals are
  • Able to identify the origins of different cereals and the factors that affect this
  • Able to describe the different types of cereals
  • Understand the nutritional value of cereals
  • Understand the importance of cereals in the diet
  • Able to describe the primary and secondary processing of cereals
  • Understand how different cereals are used to make different products

What will we be cooking?

Artisan bread, tagliatelle and accompanying sauce, choux pastry profiteroles.

Topic 4:

Commodity: meat, fish, poultry, eggs

  • Food provenance of meat, fish and poultry
  • Including farming and rearing
  • The differences between primary and secondary processing
  • The different classifications of meat and dish
  • The correct and safe handling of high risk foods
  • The nutritional requirements and dietary considerations
  • How to preserve and store ingredients in relation to health and safety.

What will we be cooking?

De-boning a chicken, chicken wings, enrobed chicken Kiev and lemon meringue pie or pavlova.

Topic 5:

Commodity: butter, oils, margarine, sugar and syrup

  • Primary and secondary food processing
  • Different classifications, structures and uses
  • The nutritional requirements and dietary considerations.
  • Chemical and physical structures
  • Food storage, preparation and preservation
  • To understand the functions of commodities when producing a range of food products.

What will we be cooking?

Apple tart tatin, mayonnaise and potato salad, Victoria sandwich or lemon drizzle cake.

Topic 6: Beans, tofu and nuts

  • Primary and secondary processing of a range of protein sources
  • Nutritional requirements and dietary considerations related to different groups
  • The structure and uses in small and large scale
  • Different classifications and categories
  • Food hygiene and safety when preparing, storing and preserving foods.

What will we be cooking?

We offer a nut-free environment so nuts will be covered in theory sessions. Students will be asked to adapt a dish of their choice to suit a person that cannot eat meat (vegan or vegetarian or for religious beliefs)

Year 11 (GCSE) Expertise

Most of Year 11 will be spent carrying out the two pieces of coursework called Non-Examined Assessment 1 (NEA1) and 2 (NEA2). This coursework will make up 50% of the GCSE grade with the remaining 50% being the 1 hour and 45 minute written exam in the summer.

The year will consist of:

NEA1 (15%)

Students are set a task from the exam board


on 1st September of Year 11. Examples of past tasks are finding the best chemical raising agents in scones, experimenting with emulsifiers etc. The theme is not known prior to the release date. Students will need to produce a 2000 word document showing their investigation, experiments and evaluation of their results. It is a scientific document so knowledge of the science behind the cooking will need to be shown.

This task will be marked out of 30 as follows:

Section A – Research and plan (5 marks)

Section B – Investigation and experiments (15 marks)

Section C – Analysis and evaluation (10 marks)

NEA2 (35%)

NEA2 is again to be presented as a written document that is no more than 30 sides of A4 in length. Students will be given the challenge on 1st November of Year 11. The majority of the marks for this piece of coursework will be gained in the food room by cooking three dishes that the students have trialled and cooked themselves in response to the challenge they have chosen. Challenges from the past have been ‘Valentine’s Day Meal in a Restaurant’, ‘Street Food’ etc. The nature of the challenge until the exam board release it. Initial investigation into the context, nutritional value and cooking processes is a really important start to the project.

This task will be marked out of 70 as follows …

Section A – Investigation and Plan (15 marks)

Section B – Prepare, cook and present 3 dishes (45 marks)

Section C – Evaluation (10 marks)

Written exam (50%)

Students will revisit all the theory topics covered in Years 10 and 11 in preparation for the end of year exam.