Food Preparation and Nutrition is a comprehensive subject taught to students at Heathfield, encompassing both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Each Key Stage focuses on building a strong foundation of cooking techniques, nutrition understanding, and food safety practices.
In Year 7, students start with a cooking and nutrition baseline test to assess their prior knowledge. They are introduced to the Eatwell guide and the concept of healthy eating. Safety and hygiene in the food rooms are emphasised, along with the safe and correct use of equipment. Practical and theoretical work is combined to reinforce knowledge of diet, the function of ingredients, and reduction and shortening methods.
Year 8 builds upon the foundation by continuing the development of safe and correct equipment usage and introducing sensory analysis. High-risk foods and food safety are explored further. The focus expands to staple foods, sugars, starch, fibre, and reducing sugars in the diet. Additionally, students are introduced to micronutrients and learn about their importance. Food waste, leftovers, and seasonality are also addressed.
In Year 9, students continue to develop their skills in safe and correct equipment use. They explore the function of pastry ingredients, shaping ingredients, and presentation. The concepts of raising agents and gelatinisation are introduced. Food choices, cultural considerations, allergies, and dietary restrictions are discussed. Micronutrients and their embedding in diets are further explored, alongside topics like reading food labels, traffic lights, and sustainable food practices.
Year 10 begins with an introduction to macronutrients such as proteins and fats, focusing on their functions in the body, sources, and the effects of deficiencies. The functional and chemical properties of food are explored through theory and practical work. Carbohydrates are then introduced, examining their functions, sources, and effects of deficiency. Students delve into micronutrients, antioxidants, and their sources, types, deficiencies, and functions. Energy needs, food choices, cooking techniques, and heat transfer are also covered.
In Year 11, students complete a food science experiment as part of NEA 1, which contributes to 15% of their final grade. They conduct research, formulate hypotheses, follow methodologies, perform experiments, and draw conclusions. Mock exams and revision homework help prepare them for the final exams. NEA 2, worth 35% of the final grade, involves research, planning, and a practical assessment. The principles of food safety, food spoilage, contamination, and environmental impact are also covered.
Throughout both key stages, students develop their skills in safe and correct equipment use and learn about the properties of different ingredients. They gain knowledge of nutrition, diet-related diseases, sustainability, and making informed food choices.