Design and Technology

Food Preparation and Nutrition (Years 7-11)


Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9)

Throughout Key Stage 3, students will focus on working safely and hygienically through completing written aspects alongside the technical food preparation and practical work.

Year 7 - 

Concentrating on developing skills using a range of kitchen equipment and production methods as well as developing safe practical skills. Emphasis is placed on the importance of healthy eating and being able to follow and understand the importance of a balanced diet, which the practical sessions will also cover.

Year 8 - 'Sustainability matters' 

'If you think that sustainability is not important, see how long you can hold your breath for' - John Bull, Academic Lead, Plymouth University

Focusing on sustainability within food and food production and considering how we can reduce the impact on the environment through shopping habits, using seasonal foods and understanding of the social, moral and environmental issues surrounding food production. 

Year 9 -  'Pop-up cultural cafe'

Students are expected to show independence as well as develop teamwork skills in this project to achieve an excellent end goal. This project aims to develop a more detailed understanding of the requirements for students considering opting for GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition.  Practical work focuses on developing skill levels, mirroring the requirements for GCSE Controlled Assessment work.  Students will be working as both teams and individuals to develop product ideas, complete nutritional profiles and costings along with menu's to produce a final 'pop-up' style cafe, serving their final products at the end of the project. 

Key Stage 4 (Year 11)

GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition (Exam Board: AQA)

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. At its heart, this qualification focuses on nurturing students' practical cookery skills to give them a strong understanding of nutrition. 

Food preparation skills are integrated into five core topics: 

  • Food, nutrition and health 
  • Food science 
  • Food safety 
  • Food choice 
  • Food provenance. 

Upon completion of this course, students will be qualified to go on to further study, or embark on an apprenticeship or full time career in the catering or food industries.

The final award for the course comprises of;

NEA (non-exam assessed) Task 1: Food investigation (30 marks) 15%

Students' understanding of the working characteristics, functional and chemical properties of ingredients. Practical investigations are a compulsory element of this NEA task. Written or electronic report (1,500 – 2,000 words) including photographic evidence of the practical investigation. 

NEA 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 3 hours, planning in advance how this will be achieved. Written or electronic portfolio including photographic evidence. Photographic evidence of the three final dishes must be included.

Written exam: (100 marks) 50%

  •  Multiple choice questions (20 marks) 
  • Five questions, each with a number of  sub questions (80 marks)

Type of career this will prepare you for:

Chef, Food Industry worker/catering, Food Designer, Product Designer, Restaurant Owner, Health and Safety/Food Hygiene industry, Teacher, Technician.

Skills it will help you to develop

  • Time management
  • Organisation skills
  • Practical skills using ingredients and food
  • Using specific preparation equipment
  • Team work
  • Analytical skills
  • Evaluation and concluding skills
  • Expressing opinion and justifying decisions in depth

Department staff

Mrs K Cato
Mr J Hawkins

Homework and Assignments

During Key Stage 3 students will be issued with homework every 2-3 weeks and be expected to spend approximately 1 hour per piece of homework. Homework will also be available on the Show my Homework website to assist and remind students.

Through Key Stage 4, students will be issued with homework relevant to the topic being taught at the time. This could range from GCSE style exam questions through to completing detailed designing, specifications or research. Students will have differing amounts of time to complete each homework set. Homework will also be submitted on the Show my Homework website to assist and remind students.

Useful websites and resources

AQA Food Preparation and Nutrition -

Product Design

‘A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away’

Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9)

Year 7

  •   Key Fob Design

This project is an introduction to product design in which stydebts will design and make two different designs for a key fob working in two key materials, plywood and acrylic.  This teaches a range of workshop skills and establishes their knowledge and understanding of materials.

  •  Key Fob Torch

This project builds on the first project by creating a simple LED light which is incorporated into the fob.  The design is made from flexible plastic which can be cut and formed into a range of different shapes.

  • Key Fob Packaging

The third part of this design project is to create the packaging and labelling for the key fob torch.  This introduces a bubble pack made using a vacuum former and labelling designed using IT resources.

  • Phone Stand

The phone stand is an introduction to CAD / CAM using the laser cutter to design and make a two piece stand from MDF. The pupils start with a standard design for their phone stand and then develop a personalised design.

Year 8

  • USB-Memory stick – Container/Casing

This project will form an introduction to 3D printing – Students will follow an introductory course for using sketch up to develop their computer aided design skills.  They will then use this work to develop a design for a novelty cover for a USB stick which will be manufactured using the 3D printer. There will be the option to design and make a small container using the 3D printer if time allows.

  • Sweet Dispenser

This is a design and make project using resistant materials to make a product. The product is a simple storage and dispensing device for hard candy, e.g. Smarties / M&M’s. The container consists of a wooden unit with a lever simple mechanism and a reused jam jar to hold the sweets. Students will develop designs for the container to enhance its appearance using recycled materials where possible.

Year 9

  • Ear phones holder

This project will develop students' understanding and skills in the use of CAD/CAM using 2D design software to develop a product. They will design a holder for ear phones which be made using a laser cutter. The products will develop their creativity and knowledge of modern industrial design.

  • Pewter cast pendant

This is a design and make project which encourages studentsto develop designs for a piece of jewellery, pendant. The product will be made from pewter which is cast into a mould and is designed and made in the school workshop.

  • Small Jewellery boxes

Students will design and make two small storage boxes for their pendant design.  The first will be made from softwood with a colourful acrylic lid. They will also have a laser cut box design which can be personalised using their design skills developed in the first project.

Department staff

Mrs K Cato
Mr J Hawkins

Homework and Assignments

During Key Stage 3 students will be issued with homework every 2-3 weeks and be expected to spend approximately one hour per piece of homework. Homework will also be available on the Show my Homework website to assist and remind students.

Past Examination Results

Summer 2017

Food Technology

GCSE -  30.7% A*-A    53.8% A*-B    76.9% A*-C   100% A*-G    +0.63 Progress 8               

Resistant Materials

GCSE -   22.2% A*-B    44.4% A*-C    100% A*-G   -0.59 Progress 8