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Food and Nutrition

Our aim: for students to develop a healthy, positive attitude towards food and in turn their own well-being, and to equip them with the practical skills to be able to cook and prepare nutritious meals while developing their problem-solving skills.

Curriculum Overview

All students at King Alfreds have the opportunity to study Food and Nutrition in years 7, 8 and 9. It is taught in rotation with the other tech subjects, so every student will study food for two terms each year. In Years 7 to 9 our focus is on the skills you need to feed yourself and your family balanced meals and the nutrition everyone should know to equip them to make healthy informed choices. We understand that our students come to us with a wide range of experience, so we start from scratch and by the end of Year 9 all should have the skills to make a range of family dinners.

In Year 10 students have the option of taking Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE, at this point we move away from life skills to look more in depth at nutrition and the production of food. We gradually build students’ skills, from preparing custards and emulsions to perfecting choux, until they are able to make a wide range of dishes culminating in their three-hour practical assessment, a food science experiment and written exam.

Year 7 Topics

In our practical lessons we start from scratch teaching knife skills, how to handle food hygienically, how to use an oven, how to use a hob, and how to test if meat is fully cooked. We make Fruit Salad, Vegetable Stir-Fry, Chicken Nuggets and Cheese Scones.

Within our theory lessons we look at the different food groups and classifications of food, fruits and vegetables, meat, fish, cereals to ultimately consider the question “Where does my food come from?”

Year 8 Topics

The focus in year 8 is on using the skills they learnt in Year 7 to make family meals. We make Moroccan Meatballs, Fajitas, Tuna Pasta Bake and Focaccia.

In our theory lessons the focus is on an introduction to nutrition; the function and sources of macronutrients to try and answer the question “Is food more than simply what you put in your mouth?”

Year 9 Topics

Year 9 is the first time that students will cook independently rather than working in pairs, because of this we revisit a few of the key skills from Year 7 and 8 such as knife skills and making a roux. Again, our focus is on making meals but also developing the students’ independence and organisation in the kitchen. During their first term in the Food and Nutrition rotation we address the question: “Is multi- tasking the most important skill that a professional chef needs?”

Within our theory lessons we take our understanding of nutrition to the next level; looking in much greater detail at the structure, functions and requirements for both the macronutrients and micronutrients that we need to survive and thrive to help us answer the question “How are specific needs in society reflected in what we cook?”

Year 10 topics

Year 10 is the first year of the GCSE through the study of a variety of commodities students will learn about: nutrition; provenance and processing; food hygiene and safety; characteristics; technological advances; specialist diets and food science.

Each term we focus on a different commodity; term 1 – Fruits and Vegetables; term 2 – Dairy; term 3 - Cereals; term 4 – Meat Fish & Eggs; term 5 Alternative Proteins, Beans, Seeds and Nuts; term 6 – Fats & Sugars.

 Once a week students will have the opportunity to cook with the ingredients that we are focusing on that term. There is an extensive list of skills we need to cover, and we have built up our catalogue of recipes based on the GCSE requirements and student feedback.

Year 11 topics

Our focus in Year 11 is mostly the Not Examination Assessment (NEA), this is what would previously have been referred to as coursework. We have two pieces of NEA which add up to make 50% of the whole GCSE grade.

In term one students complete their NEA1, which is a Food Science investigation with an accompanying report addressing a set question from the exam board.

From term 2 until term 4 students will be working on their NEA2, which includes their three-hour practical assessment which addresses a brief laid out by the exam board.

Term 5 is focused on revising the theory work largely covered in Year 10 for the formal written exam, taking place during the summer exam series, which makes up the remaining 50% of the GCSE grade.