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Devonport High School for Girls

Food Preparation and Nutrition

Name of Head of Department

Mrs J Tribe, BEd (Hons)

Statement of Intent

Food Preparation and Nutrition at Devonport High School for Girls is a highly enjoyable, creative subject where practical activities are a central part of learning. We aim to inspire and challenge our students to try out new skills and encourage confidence and independence.  Personal organisation and an ability to plan and think ahead are essential qualities that we work hard to develop. Students are encouraged in lessons to make decisions, think independently and evaluate their work. Resilience and problem-solving are essential skills for making excellent progress and enabling students to reach their full potential. We want everyone to be proud of their achievements in Food Preparation and Nutrition which not only allows them to express their creativity but also equips them with crucial life skills.

‘First we eat, then we do everything else!’ MFK Fisher (American food writer)

In Food Preparation and Nutrition students will gain core knowledge of the importance of nutrition and the impact of food on health. Students will develop an awareness of where food comes from, seasonality and the impact food has on the environment. Initially, at Key stage 3 students will make various predominantly savoury dishes that enable them to practise a wide range of basic food preparation techniques and to use the cooker and small equipment correctly, safely and independently. We aim to foster a love of cooking and promote confidence in our students in their ability to prepare healthy and nutritious meals. The principles of food hygiene are essential and are regularly reinforced.  Initially at Key Stage Three, the UK’s healthy eating model is introduced followed by a more detailed focus on teenage nutrition. At Key Stage 4 we follow the AQA Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE which focusses on 5 key areas: food nutrition and health, food science, food safety, food choice and food provenance. Food preparation skills are practised throughout the course. Food Preparation and Nutrition links with knowledge and skills in other subjects such as Geography and Science when we cover topics such as fairtrade, seasonality, food miles, nutrition and food spoilage. The course equips students with the skills to make informed decisions about a wide range of further learning opportunities and career pathways and opportunities for challenge are embraced.


Key stage 3 (Year 7 and 8)   

Year 7

Students are introduced to the equipment in the room and learn to use it independently and safely. They develop basic food preparation skills in order to produce a range of predominantly savoury dishes that contribute to a balanced diet that corresponds to the UK healthy eating model.

Year 8

Students focus on nutrition with particular emphasis on the needs of teenagers in order to produce a variety of main meal products. They are introduced to a wider and more complex range of practical skills and learn about the functional properties of ingredients.

Key stage 4 (Year 9, 10 and 11)  

Areas of study include:

Food preparation skills – these are intended to be integrated into the five sections:

  1. Food, nutrition and health
  2. Food science
  3. Food safety
  4. Food choice
  5. Food provenance


Paper 1: Food preparation and nutrition

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

Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

100 marks

50% of GCSE

Non-exam assessment (NEA)

Task 1: Food investigation (30 marks)

Task 2: Food preparation assessment (70 marks)

Full details of the specification and assessment criteria can be found on the AQA website GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition Specification

Extra-curricular activities 

Students are encouraged to take part in a variety of enrichment activities led by the Design and Technology department, including competitions such as the Young Chef Team challenge and the Rotary Young Chef of the Year.