Food at KS4

This course teaches the knowledge, understanding and skills required to cook and apply the principles of food science, nutrition and healthy eating. The course is divided into five topic areas.

Food, nutrition and health

  • Proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fibre, water, vitamins, minerals – functions in the body, food sources, effects of deficiency and excess, dietary reference values.
  • Current dietary guidelines for a healthy diet, portion size and costing when meal planning; nutritional analysis of meals; how people’s needs change and how to plan a balanced diet for different life stages and special diets e.g. vegetarians; diabetics, coeliacs.
  • Basal metabolic rate (BMR) and Physical activity level (PAL).
  • How to plan and modify recipes to reflect nutritional guidelines for a healthy diet.
  • The relationship between diet, nutrition and health including health issues such as obesity, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes, dental health problems.
  • Nutritional modification and fortification e.g. cholesterol lowering spreads.

Food Science

  • The cooking of food and different methods of heat transfer e.g. conduction, convection and radiation. How to preserve nutrients when cooking and new methods of cooking e.g. hot air cooking (frying) without oil. Practical lessons will cover all different cooking methods.
  • Functional and chemical properties of food – protein denaturation and coagulation; gluten formation; gelatinisation; dextrinisation; caramelisation; shortening; aeration; plasticity; emulsification; raising agents.

Food Safety

  • The growth conditions for microorganisms and enzymes; the control of food spoilage. Bacterial contamination of foods and food poisoning.
  • The role of bacteria, yeasts, moulds and bacteria in food preparation.
  • Food hygiene practices and temperature control.
  • Food safety when buying, storing and cooking food.

Factors Affecting Food Choice

  • Food availability; income; seasonality; time; lifestyles; cost; occasion; healthy eating.
  • Choice related to religion, culture, ethical and medical conditions – food allergies and intolerances.
  • A variety of different European and international cuisines are investigated.
  • Sensory evaluation – investigation of different tasting tests; taste panels; sensory analysis.
  • Food labelling, marketing and the media.

Food Provenance

  • Environmental issues – seasonal foods; sustainability; organic foods and fair-trade foods; locally produced foods; food miles; global warming; food packaging and food waste; free range production; genetic modification.
  • Where ingredients are grown, reared and caught.
  • Food security in local and global markets.
  • Food processing and its effect on sensory and nutritional properties of food.

Exam Information

The exam board we use is AQA.

There is a focus on practical cookery skills throughout the course which gives students a thorough understanding of nutrition, food provenance and the working characteristics of food materials.

In Year 10, students will study all five topic areas with a high degree of practical work. This will enable the students to have the theoretical knowledge to answer the written exam paper and practical skills to use in their non-exam assessments, both in Year 11.

In Year 11, students will focus on their two non-exam practical assessments.

Written exam – Year 11 – 50% of total marks, 1 hour 45 mins. 100 total marks – 20 marks for multiple choice questions and 80 marks for 5 questions examining the five topic areas, split into smaller sub-sections.

Non-exam Assessment – Year 11 – 50% of total marks – 2 tasks:

Task 1 (15%):  Food investigation – A practical investigation into the students’ understanding of the working characteristics, functional and chemical properties of ingredients.

Task 2 (35%): Food preparation assessment – Students’ knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to planning, preparation, cooking and presentation of food with the application of nutrition related to the chosen task. Students will prepare, cook and present a final menu of three dishes, following experimentation and development. Students will prepare a written report for each practical task.


Resources to help with revision can be found on student resources: Resources > Subjects > Key Stage 4 > Technology > Yr 11 > YEAR 11 > FOOD Revision