Food and Cooking

“I feel a recipe is only a theme, which an intelligent cook can play each time with a variation.” – Madam Benoit

Cooking is the best! My enthusiasm for cooking began at an early age, at home in the kitchen playing with left over bits of pastry. Later, I particularly enjoyed ‘Home Economics’ at school and loved the approval I got from my family when they ate the food I had carefully prepared and carried home. I also valued the praise and encouragement I received from Mrs. Fuller, my attentive and patient cookery teacher. The positive feedback that I received is what I wish to replicate for my learners. To be praised for your efforts is motivating and instils a sense of self-worth that builds confidence in yourself and your abilities.

Mrs Chamberlain, Curriculum Leader for Food and Cooking.

The Food and Cooking Curriculum:

The benefits of learning to cook are rewarding and endless, and the most obvious benefit are that cooking:

  • boosts creativity
  • encourages focus
  • builds mastery in skill
  • develops mental processing and fine motor skills
  • allows pupils to transfers skills and knowledge from other subject areas
  • builds wider competencies and life skills
  • develops skills for life

Above all, cooking is FUN!

Food and Cooking at Key Stage 3

Lessons are predominately based on practical sessions, taught in a fun and interesting way to engage pupils, and to instill an interest in learning to cook.  The aim is also to encourage pupils to use and develop skills for everyday life and raise awareness of food as an important part of pupils’  for health and wellbeing.

The Northgate Programme delivered in Key Stage 3, is linked to Preparing for Adulthood, and is divided into three main areas:

  • Year 7 Healthy eating
  • Year 8 Where food comes from
  •  Year 9 Cooking techniques

Pupils will have opportunities to experience and learn:

  • basic nutrition, and that eating a varied diet will keep their  bodies healthy and promote wellbeing.
  • to use the Eatwell Guide and the eight tips for healthy eating.
  • to cook dishes and products that relate to the Eatwell guide.
  • to undertake basic kitchen safety, food safety and hygiene- factors that contribute to and affect good health;
  • to recognise the need for personal hygiene and using simple routines to ensure high standards.
  • to developing knowledge and understanding of health and safety as consumers and as food handlers
  • to name, label, and taste a broad range of foods using sensory evaluation.
  • where individual ingredients come from:  Seasonality,  ‘From field to Fork’  and ‘Fairtrade’, to name a few
  • to practice cooking techniques, which include identifying risks,  implementing safety measures and identifying healthier methods of cooking.

Lessons are modified to provide suitable learning challenges that meet the pupils’ diverse needs so that all pupils can fully take part and learn, thus, providing a fulfilling and involved experience. These meaningful learning opportunities enable pupils to meet their full potential, build a strong sense of self-esteem and develop their culinary skills in school, at home and during leisure.


Food and Cooking at Key Stage 4

For Key Stage 4 pupils, the focus is to further develop the knowledge and understanding of the Food Preparation and Nutrition curriculum they began in  Key Stage 3.

It is important to continue to encourage confidence in the kitchen, at this stage, and to enable pupils in becoming more fluent and comfortable with the basics of food preparation,  and to increase knowledge of having a healthy, balanced diet.

Hands on…

Practical sessions are devised to encourage pupils to extend and apply skills they have learned into ‘real life’ situations such as:

  • budgeting;
  • shopping for ingredients;
  •  following recipes;
  • creating balanced meals;
  • adapting recipes; catering for special diets.

At Key Stage 4, there is a greater emphasis on pupils preparing and cooking food for themselves and others, developing confidence in their capacity to work more independently and encouraging them to transfer skills to home, other contexts and developing their skills for adulthood.

Importantly, supporting pupils to become knowledgeable consumers- preparing them to be able to make informed choices and decisions about what they choose to eat is vital.

The broad curriculum offer has been devised to motivate students, allowing them to develop food preparation and cooking skills, promote knowledge and understanding in nutrition for healthy eating and wellbeing, and to encourage interests and develop skills for the future.

Food and Cooking at Northgate encourages pupils to use and develop skills for everyday life through fun and active learning. It is a great way to get them interested, involved and even excited about healthy food preparation into adulthood.

The teaching is outstanding. Teachers know their students very well and fine-tune lessons to make sure everyone learns very rapidly, whatever level they are starting.


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