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Food and Nutrition

At Dame Alice Owen’s School, we have a very vibrant Food Department with the emphasis firmly on developing practical cookery skills.

At KS3, students study Food Preparation and Nutrition for half of the school year, in years 7, 8 and 9. Students can then progress to studying the subject at GCSE and this may lead to a variety of pathways into the food industry.

Students are encouraged to take part in a wide range of competitions, and we have had success in Futurechef, Rotary Young Chef and ‘Step Up to The Plate’ on CBBC

KS3 Food and Nutrition

The study of Food and Nutrition aims to equip students with the knowledge, understanding and skills required to cook healthy and nutritious foods using ingredients. Students also learn about food provenance and gain an understanding of how and where their food is produced giving them the knowledge to make informed choices. The inclusive ethos of the department allows students of all abilities, backgrounds and beliefs to take part in practical activities with recipes adapted as required.

We firmly believe that learning to cook and eat well is a crucial life skill that enables people to feed themselves and others affordably and well, now and in later life. A long-term approach across KS3 gives students a clear view of progress and builds confidence to tackle more demanding work at KS4. Through the study of food safety, storage and shopping students are actively encouraged to avoid food waste and use up leftover ingredients.

Due to the disruption to school lives, and the lack of practical cookery teaching during the pandemic, we are running a recovery programme in the Food department this year. We have increased the number of practical lessons throughout KS3 and years 7 and 8 will begin by preparing a range of similar recipes which teach basic knife skills, baking and general health and safety practices.

In the summer term, we hope to see the return of the very popular ‘Great Owens Bake Off’ competition which has been running for over 10 years. The competition is the highlight of the year in the Food department and gives students the opportunity to showcase their baking talents.

Please see our curriculum map for an overview of the topics being covered in our recovery programme this year.

Topics covered

Year 7 Healthy Eating and Nutrition, food hygiene and safety, practical food activities (basic skill level)

Year 8 Food Provenance, food waste and sustainability, practical food activities (moderate skill level)

Year 9 British and International Street Foods practical food activities (more advanced skills)

Literacy and Numeracy in Food lessons

Literacy and numeracy are supported in the following ways throughout our Food and Nutrition curriculum

Literacy: Students research food traditions and cultures, recipes and ingredients. They learn to follow a recipe and write a step-by-step plan. They learn to read and understand the information on a food label. They discuss and evaluate their own and others work in both written and verbal forms.

Numeracy: is supported through accurate weighing and measuring, scaling, ratios and oven temperatures. Students learn about safe food storage and key temperature zones. They learn to use a food probe to test the core temperature of the food they are cooking.

GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition

We follow the AQA Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE at KS4 and this continues to be a popular option subject with 2 classes running in year 10. It is an exciting and creative course which focuses on practical cooking skills to ensure students develop a thorough understanding of nutrition, food provenance and the working characteristics of food materials.

Assessment is by a non-exam assessment (NEA, undertaken in year 11) which forms 50% of the marks, the remaining 50% will be by a one hour 45 minutes written examination.
Link to the AQA Food Preparation and Nutrition homepage –http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/food/gcse/food-preparation-and-nutrition-8585

Curriculum Map

Ms C Cerny (Head of Food and Textiles)