at Cockermouth School

Food & Nutrition

Key Stage 3

Cooking and Nutrition

At Key Stage 3 Cooking and Nutrition students undertake all aspects involved with food and cooking, beginning with basic food hygiene and safety, equipment and basic cooking skills. Students will be able to participate in a wide range of practical lessons to build on their knowledge of nutrition, ingredients, the source of food and wider issues such as sustainability. There is a particular focus on practical cooking and students will be asked to bring in ingredients to make a wide range of mainly savoury dishes and some sweet treats.  The aim is to make students confident and knowledgeable about food and the principles behind preparing and cooking. Students will have 2 lessons of food per fortnight and in Year 9 this is always a double lesson to allow students more time to create meals and more complex dishes.

Year 7

Students will be introduced to basic cooking skills enabling them to make a range of simple dishes as well as learning about kitchen safety, food hygiene, weighing and measuring, parts of a cooker, storing food safely and healthy eating.  There will be a project where students plan and make a product suitable for members of their own family as well as an end of year assessment of both written and practical work.

Year 8

Students will continue to develop their practical skills by making a range of dishes suitable for feeding a family with a focus on using the hob safely. They will also learn about bacterial activity and food hygiene, storing food, vegetarianism, gelatinisation, multi-cultural foods, methods of cake making and working to a specification.  There will be a multi-cultural plan and make project to produce a product suitable for a specific group of people  which will be incorporated into the end of year assessment.  This will include both a practical and written exam.

Year 9

Students will make a wider range of more complex dishes using different food groups allowing them to develop higher level practical skills.  They will be introduced to nutrition and learn about the properties, sources and uses in the body of carbohydrates, fats, protein, minerals and vitamins. They will then apply this knowledge and be able to adapt diets making them suitable for specific groups of people. Students will take part in the Rotary Competition which focuses on local foods and food provenance as well as being continually assessed throughout the year.

Key Stage 4

Year 10

GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition

The new Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE will help students to develop a greater understanding of nutrition, food provenance and the working characteristics of food materials. They will also learn about food from around the world, through the study of British and international culinary traditions as well as developing an understanding of where food comes from (food provenance) and the challenges surrounding food security. They will master culinary skills and appreciate the science behind food and cooking. Students will develop high level practical skills and make the connection between theory and practice.

Technical Award in Hospitality and Catering Level 1&2

Students will cook a wide range of high skill dishes. They will also learn about health, safety and hygiene, the legal requirements within the hospitality and catering industry, portion control and costings, the types of establishments that provide food and drink, types of food service, staffing structure of different establishments, nutrition, menu planning and some commodities.  During the year there will be continuous assessment by completion of exam style questions and a mid-year exam (both practical and theoretical).  Students will also complete a Level 2 food hygiene certificate.

Year 11

GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition

The second part of the course will comprise mainly of preparation for the written and practical assessments.  The non-examination assessment will consist of two tasks, involving practical work. Both tasks are set by the exam board and will be carried out during year 11.

Task 1: Students will carry out an investigation into the scientific principles that underpin the preparation and cooking of food.

This task will provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and practically apply their understanding of the science behind cooking. They will practically investigate ingredients and explain how they work and why.

Task 2: Students will plan, prepare, cook and present a 3 course menu.

This task will provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate their creativity and cooking skills. They might make a street food menu, create tapas dishes or cook up a menu for a student on a budget.

There will be one written exam for this qualification, which will assess students’ knowledge of the theory behind food preparation and nutrition. The exam will be 1 hour 45 minutes long.

Technical Award in Hospitality and Catering Level 1&2

Applying the knowledge learnt during year 10 students will learn how hospitality and catering providers operate and the environments within which they work. They will be given scenarios and asked to propose new provisions suitable for a target market.  Students will complete two assessments.

  1. An internal assessed exam (externally moderated) whereby they will suggest, justify and produce, suitable dishes for a given scenario.
  1. Complete a written exam which will include a range of simple and more complex questions to demonstrate an understanding of the hospitality and catering industry.


BTEC Home Cooking Skills Level 2

This will be a continuation from year 10 (Level 1) but students will explore recipes for nutritious meals rather than individual dishes.  They will learn how to cook different elements of a meal to serve them at the same time. Consideration will be given to presentation and how to economise when cooking and shopping.

Learners will demonstrate their skill by selecting recipes for a nutritious two course meal and following the recipes to prepare, cook and present the meal.  This will be internally assessed and externally moderated.

Outside the Classroom

At Cockermouth school we are really passionate about food and encourage all our students to take a keen interest in all things foody from events in the town such as the Taste Cumbria food festival to them keeping us informed about what they have been growing in their gardens. We like to discuss current food issues and encourage students to cook as much as possible at home. At Key Stage 3 we offer the opportunity for students to join the Rotary Young Chef of the year competition where they are required to plan and cook a 2 course meal using and celebrating local ingredients/produce. We are also continually trying to build links with local businesses and chefs. We have been fortunate to have had demonstrations from the Coffee Kitchen Bakery and Fyne Fish, two businesses which both have shops in the town. The British Game Association have shown students how to prepare game birds and local celebrity chef Stephen Doherty has come into work with groups of Year 9 students as well as GCSE Food and Nutrition students. With our new Hospitality and Catering Course we are hoping to develop links with some of the local hospitality and catering businesses.