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St Thomas Aquinas

Year 6 Transition


Head of Faculty - Mrs Maxine Tedcastle


Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

Food is a vital part of our daily lives and is essential for life. As our students become adults and have busy lives, it is easy to choose food which has been ready prepared, however, it is more nutritious and often cheaper to cook simple, delicious food.

At STACS, students will be given vital practical life skills that enable them to feed themselves and others affordably and nutritiously, now and later in life. Students will develop their knowledge and understanding of nutrition, healthy eating, food preparation, hygiene, cooking techniques and sensory characteristics.

Working with food encourages the development of high practical skills and resilience in a safe environment, allowing students to follow a recipe and act on feedback.

The Food curriculum aims to engage and encourage students to become discriminating consumers of food products, whilst enabling them to understand and participate in society in an active and informed manner regarding such issues as environmental factors, food waste and inequality, food choices, and explore multicultural and cultural perspectives concerning food.

Our hope is that through Food lessons, students are provided with a context through which to explore the richness, pleasure and variety that food adds to life.





Students are introduced to the school food room and to the importance of good safety and hygiene practices when preparing and storing food. They learn basic preparation and knife skills and use of the different parts of the cooker whilst preparing a range of both savoury and sweet dishes; at the same time aiming to develop confidence and independence as well as an enjoyment of cooking. Students learn about the relationship between good food and good health by investigating initiatives such as the Eatwell Guide, 5 a day and the 8 Tips for Health. We also start to introduce food provenance and look at where food comes from and environmental issues such as Fairtrade, food miles and food waste.


In Year 8 students further develop their practical skills and use a wider range of cooking and preparation methods with the aim of becoming more independent and being able to confidently follow a recipe themselves. Apart from being a valuable life skill, these skills are required for GCSE and give them more insight into how they will work if they make Food one of their option choices in Year 9.

Students extend their knowledge of micro-organisms by looking at food safety in more depth and also, in relation to the hospitality industry. They learn about the nutrients required for a healthy, balanced diet and the relationship between food and diet-related illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes, obesity and coronary heart disease.


GCSE Food Preparation and Reparation and Nutrition - EDUQAS


Students will begin their course by having a refresher of food hygiene and safety and looking in more detail at the food science behind this. Regular practical work will take place and students will need to bring their ingredients on at least a fortnightly basis. The emphasis is on developing good practical skills, whilst also evaluating their work to encourage a deeper understanding of how ingredients and techniques work and why we do things in a certain way.

Students recap the nutrition work completed at KS3 but with more detail to suit the demands of GCSE. We investigate the nutritional needs of a range of different people, such as those at different life stages, those with diet related health conditions, allergies and intolerances and consider other reasons for our food choices, for example, related to religion, culture, veganism or income.


Each term students will be investigating different food commodities and for each one will look at provenance, classifications, nutrition, dietary advice, food safety, storage and food science. Practical work will relate to the particular commodity being studied at that time.

The food commodities that students will look at include fruits and vegetables; milk, cheese and dairy products; cereals, including flours, breakfast cereals and bread; meat, fish and poultry; eggs; fats and oils and then sugars. We will also investigate soya, Quorn based products and new technological SMART ingredients.

During the year, students will complete a practice NEA 1 and NEA 2 assessment in preparation for the terminal assessments next year.


Students have to complete two NEA tasks for the exam board this year. NEA 1 – Food investigation which researches a food science hypothesis and is worth 15% of their final GCSE grade and NEA 2- Food preparation task which involves researching, planning and executing a 3 hour practical assessment and is worth 35% of their final grade.

Throughout the year students also revisit the knowledge and skills needed for the final exam (worth 50% of their final grade) through specific lessons supported by homework tasks. They sit a trial exam in November and the final exam in June.


Assessment Details


Student’s work is assessed at the end of each subject topic. In Years 7 and 8, we use these assessments to determine their attainment grade for the progress reviews (from A to E).


NEA 1 – Food investigation task is released by Eduqas in September of Year 11 (the tasks change each year). Students plan a series of food investigations to test a hypothesis relating to food science principles. Work is recorded and written up in a Word document. Worth 15% of final GCSE grade.

NEA 2 – Food preparation task is released in November. In this NEA task, students are required to research a specific food topic, then make a series of practice dishes towards planning for a 3 hour practical assessment where they prepare, cook and present 3 dishes. This is also written up in a report. Worth 35% of final GCSE grade.

Students submit NEA 1 in December and NEA 2 in early March of Year 11. The work is assessed in school and submitted to Eduqas for moderation.

Students then have a 1 hour 45 minute final written exam in the June of Year 11, which they will have prepared for through class revision activities and homework. Worth 50% of final GCSE grade.

Practice questions and other activities are set throughout KS4 including end of year assessments in Year 9 and 10 and a trial exam in November for Year 11. Teacher feedback is provided to learners with strengths and areas to improve identified in order to allow them to make further progress.


Why Study Food ?

Choosing to study GCSE Food opens up real prospects of studying the subject at a higher level at college or University leading ultimately to possible careers in many food related roles and industries. Examples of food related careers obviously include becoming a chef or cook in many different hospitality settings but there are also careers in food business management, food technology and product development, nutrition and public health, dietician, food science and microbiology or maybe environmental health and hygiene to name but a few...the world is literally your oyster! 

You may decide to study GCSE Food simply because you enjoy the subject and love to cook and investigate food related issues.

Being able to cook and understand the principles of nutrition is a valuable, if not essential, life skill that would benefit every single person! As they say, cooking with love provides food for the soul.