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St Francis Xavier

Food Preparation & Nutrition

Within food technology we offer learners the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of food preparation and nutrition.
The practical skills and theoretical knowledge learners will acquire throughout the curriculum will empower them to work confidently, independently and develop valuable life skills. 

Learners will become self-sufficient young adults with a contextual understanding of current diet related health issues within society. This understanding will impact their food choices and how it effects their health, the health of our planet and on the lives of other species sharing our world.

Curriculum team

Ms Bradley - Curriculum lead
Mrs Boland - Subject lead

Key stage 3 topics

Year 7

Students focus on health and safety during the first term in food technology, learning how to keep themselves and others safe in the kitchen. Students will also become more familiar with equipment and the food skills required to make a range of healthy and nutritious dishes. Some of the dishes they will make include:

  • Pizza Toast
  • Fruit salad
  • Herby veggie crumble
  • Savoury scones

In the second and third term students will focus on Food, Nutrition and Health, particularly looking at nutrients, their functions, main sources, effects of a deficiency or an excess in the diet. Students will also learn about the Eatwell Guide and what a healthy balanced diet looks like.

Year 8

Students build upon their knowledge and understanding of Food, Nutrition and Health focusing more on the nutritional needs of individuals including planning balanced meals for:

  • Children
  • Teenagers
  • Adults
  • Elderly adults
  • Vegetarians

 Students will also learn new technical skills while broadening their repertoire of equipment to enable them to make a range of healthy and nutritious dishes for a variety of individuals. Some of the dishes they will make include: 

  • Tuna and broccoli pasta
  • Chicken nuggets
  • Jambalaya
  • Thai green curry

 Year 9

In year 9 students will focus on how ingredients work and why. They will learn about Food Science covering a range of topics which include:

Cooking of food and heat transfer

  • Why food is cooked and how heat is transferred
  • Selecting appropriate cooking methods

Functional and chemical properties of food

  • Proteins
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fats and oils
  • Raising agents 

Students will also learn new technical skills while implementing and perfecting the skills learnt in both year 7 and year 8. Some of the dishes they will make include:

  • Stir fry
  • Ginger biscuits
  • Pizza
  • Cheese and vegetable pasties

Key stage 4 topics

GCSE AQA Food Preparation and Nutrition

Students who decide to further study food preparation and nutrition at GCSE level will be expected to learn the subject content in the following five sections:

1) Food, nutrition and health

2) Food science

3) Food safety

4) Food choice

5) Food provenance

Food preparation skills will be integrated into the five sections. Students will be expected to learn new technical skills while implementing and perfecting the skills learnt in key stage 3.

This qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit the exam and submit all the non-exam assessment (coursework) at the end of the course. Students will start coursework at the beginning of year 11.

How is the course assessed?

Paper 1: Food preparation and nutrition

What's assessed

Theoretical knowledge of food preparation and nutrition from Sections 1 to 5.

How it's assessed

•       Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

•       100 marks

•       50% of GCSE


•       Multiple choice questions (20 marks)

•       Five questions each with a number of sub questions (80 marks)


Non-exam assessment (NEA) Tasks

What's assessed?

Task 1: Food investigation (30 marks)15%

Students' understanding of the working characteristics, functional and chemical properties of ingredients.

Task 2: Food preparation assessment (70 marks)35%

Students' knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to the planning, preparation, cooking, presentation of food and application of nutrition related to the chosen task.

Students will prepare, cook and present a final menu of three dishes within a single period of no more than three hours, planning in advance how this will be achieved.

How it's assessed

  • Task 1: Written or electronic report (1,500–2,000 words) including photographic evidence of the practical investigation.
  • Task 2: Written or electronic portfolio including photographic evidence. Photographic evidence of the three final dishes must be included.

 Wider curriculum

The Technology department works with other departments to enable baking competitions, fundraising bakes and other cooking events for the school and the local community. These are advertised throughout the school year.