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Food Science

Welcome to the Food Science Department

Key Stage 3: Food Science

Year 7

During the year 7 module students learn how to work safely within the food room. They are introduced to a variety of utensils, tools and equipment and a range of food preparation skills so that they are equipped to determine the correct way to work with these within each of the practical assessments. In addition they learn about the various rules that need to be followed to ensure that food is safe to eat including correct storage, temperature control and the risks of food poisoning. They are introduced to the science of nutrition, learning about the Government guidelines for a healthy, balanced diet including the Eatwell Guide, the function of nutrients in the body and the food sources they can be gained from and the possible effects of excess and deficiency of key nutrients.  Students will begin to investigate the function and properties of some commonly used ingredients and will also be introduced to the tools of sensory analysis and nutritional evaluation to use with some of their food products.

During the module each student will complete food preparation practical assessments to make the following products:

  • shortbread
  • vegetable spring rolls
  • spinach, potato and chickpea curry
  • chicken nuggets
  • apple crumble and custard
  • macaroni cheese
  • bread
  • bread and butter pudding
  • mini carrot cakes

They will also complete a food investigation practical assessment exploring the functional properties of yeast in bread products.


Year 8

During the year 8 module students continue to develop the depth of their learning by taking the knowledge gained about the function and properties of a range of ingredients and applying it to a range of slightly more complex products.  Students will need to focus on planning their time and selecting appropriate resources to produce high quality products.  They will consider the needs of a range of target groups and how dietary requirements vary based on factors such as age, moral, cultural, social, religious or medical needs.  They will cover the legal requirements for food labelling and consider how labels and consequently packaging and marketing can influence food choice.  Students will further develop the tools of sensory and nutritional evaluation of food products and consider how outcomes could be modified to meet the needs of some of these target groups. 

During the module each student will complete food preparation practical assessments to make the following products:

  • marble pear tray bake
  • roast vegetable soup
  • cottage pie
  • banoffee cheesecake
  • vegetable risotto
  • chicken pie
  • cheese, onion and ham quiche
  • soda bread
  • gingerbread

They will also complete a food investigation practical assessment exploring the functional, chemical and sensory properties of ingredients in sponge based products.

Year 9

During the year 9 module students have the opportunity to show how they have developed their practical skills by producing products with an increased level of complexity so that their outcomes are both technically accurate and also presented to a high standard.  Students will explore in greater depth the nutritional, functional and chemical properties of macronutrients and micronutrients.  Alongside this they will learn about: the relationship between food and the environment including sustainability, Fairtrade, food miles, carbon footprint, locally grown food and food waste; how food is sourced including organic farming, genetically modified foods and seasonal foods; different methods of production in both primary and secondary processing and manufacturing.

During the module each student will complete food preparation practical assessments to make the following products:

  • Swiss roll
  • pasta bolognaise
  • tandoori chicken
  • meringue
  • cheese and vegetable pasties
  • millionaires shortbread
  • jelly
  • sweet and sour chicken with rice
  • fruit tarts

They will also complete 2 food investigation practical assessments:

  • exploring the functional, nutritional and sensory properties of different types of fat in pastry
  • the effect of temperature, acid and sugar on gelatinisation.

Key Stage 4

GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition

The GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition course has focuses on practical cooking skills to ensure students develop a thorough understanding of nutrition, food provenance and the working characteristics of food materials. The qualification is delivered through a specification which is divided into five core topics, with food preparation skills being an integral part of each one:

  • Food, Nutrition and Health
  • Food Science
  • Food Safety
  • Food Choice
  • Food Provenance


The final grading of the qualification is assessed through:

  • Written examination - taken at the end of the course which is worth 50% of the final marks and GCSE grade.  The exam is 1h 45m long and consists of multiple choice questions (20 marks) and five questions, each with a number of sub questions (80 marks)
  • Non-Examination Assessment (NEA) tasks - together worth 50% of your final marks and GCSE grade, taken during the final year of the course:

Task 1 – food investigation – assessing students understanding of the working characteristics, functional and chemical properties of ingredients (30 marks).

Task 2 – food preparation – assessing students’ knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to the planning, preparation, cooking, presentation of food and application of nutrition related to a chosen task.  Students will prepare, cook and present a final menu of 3 dishes within a single period of no more than 3 hours, planning in advance how this will be achieved (70 marks).

Ongoing, detailed assessment of theory, practical and homework tasks, mock exams and practice NEA pieces of work will be used to monitor student progress throughout the course.

For more information you can view the subject specification: